The Montreal Canadiens found a diamond in the rough when they picked up waiver wire forward Paul Byron from the Calgary Flames at the start of the 2015-16 season.
Although the undersized centre started out the year as an oft healthy scratch, Byron eventually worked his way into Montreal’s lineup – and rewarded the team by proving to be one of their best defensive forwards and penalty killers across his 40 games played.
As a result, the team has rewarded him – with a three year contract extension, announced on Tuesday evening.
Drafted 179th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 2007, the 5 foot 8 Byron has now played in a collective 178 career NHL games. In those, he’s produced 25 goals and 59 points – and with eight goals and 11 points coming in just 40 of those games this year alone, he’s proven to add value to the team’s bottom six.
In addition to secondary scoring, Byron – who will make a total of $3.5 million over his next three years of play, averaging out to just over $1M per season – has been a pleasant surprise on the team’s penalty kill. While Byron’s PK numbers were solid with the Calgary Flames as well, the 26 year old forward really showed his worth this season; of his eight goals so far, three have come while his team was short-handed.