MONTREAL, QC. — In a press release on Tuesday, the Montreal Canadiens announced the signing of free-agent centre Alexandre Alain to a three-year entry-level contract worth $776,666 average annual value.
The undrafted Alain is currently a member of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada playing in his fifth season in the QMJHL. The 21-year-old overager was third in QMJHL scoring this season with 87 points in 65 games. In the playoffs, Alain has 19 points in 11 games.
In January, All Habs Hockey Magazine featured a piece on Alexandre Alain and Daniel Brickley as possible acquisition targets for Marc Bergevin. Below you can read a repost of a portion of the article by staff writer Blain Potvin and will find a link to the full-length piece.
Alexandre Alain, C, Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL)
March 3, 1997 | Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
6-1, 186 lbs. | Shoots Right | @alexalain91
2017-’18: 65 GP, 44 G, 43 A, 87 PTS (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)
Alexandre Alain is a 20-year-old center who is averaging over one point per game with the Armada this season. Alain may have a familiar name for Canadiens fans as he spent this summer on an invitation to the Canadiens’ development camp.
For a franchise in need of depth at center, he can be a good solution to try and fill the void. Alain is a capable energy player with a non-stop motor with offensive flair. He has a quick release and good vision. He is also used in all situations as his defensive game is very mature. His skating is slightly above average and while it isn’t the strength of his game, it isn’t a hindrance.
His path to this point is the story of a player who has the mental fortitude to persevere.
After being drafted by Gatineau in the QMJHL draft, doctors discovered a tumor on his spine. After successful removal and rehab he returned to play. However his lack of development time and use in an energy role did show in his lack of production.
After a trade to Blainville, he was provided more of an offensive role and enjoyed a breakout year. He led a well-balanced team offensively with a modest 52 points, and led his team into the third round of the playoffs while leading in playoff points scoring 19 points in 20 games. This season, he has almost as many points as he had last season in about half as many games, his confidence has grown since his time at the Canadiens’ development camp.
Alain has many of the assets the Canadiens’ lack in their system, he is right-handed, he is a defensively responsible center with offensive ability and he has NHL size. While his NHL projection isn’t as a top-six center, Alexandre Alain would be a good candidate to be offered a contract, if not an NHL entry-level deal, then an AHL contract to add some youth and talent to Laval.
For the full article, read Could Alain, Brickley Add Depth to Canadiens?