NHL free agency: Canadiens, Ben Chiarot agree to 3-year deal with $3.5M AAV

The Canadiens have agreed to terms on a three-year contract with free agent defenseman Ben Chiarot that runs through the 2021-22 season and carries an average annual value of $3.5 million, general manager Marc Bergevin announced Thursday.

“We are very happy to have come to an agreement with Ben Chiarot today,” Bergevin said. “He is a very reliable defenseman and a solid player who will fill a need for our club. He is the type of player who can play some big minutes and be used in different situations.”

Chiarot, 28, had a career-high 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 78 games with the Jets last season, and a plus-6 differential and 62 penalty minutes. He was second on the Jets with 139 blocked shots and third with 171 hits.

A 6-3, 219-pound left-hander, Chiarot has the size teams want along the blueline and the ability to use it as well.

He was selected in the fourth round, 120th overall, by the Atlanta Thrashers (120th overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft. He has 64 points (12 goals, 52 assists), 192 penalty minutes and a plus-16 differential in 305 career regular-season NHL games in the NHL, all with the Jets.

The Jets, meanwhile, have now lost Chiarot, forward Brandon Tanev (Penguins) and defenseman Tyler Myers (Canucks) in free agency, and restricted free agents Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor remain unsigned.