#5 overall pick goes to the Dogs

Montreal Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey announced Tuesday the signing of goaltender Carey Price to a three-year contract (2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10).

As per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Price is joining the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, who will complete their regular season with four games this week before beginning the 2007 Calder Cup Playoffs.

Price, 19, completed the 2006-07 season with a record of 30-13-1, a 2.45 goals-against average, a .917 save percentage and three shutouts in 46 games with the Tri-City Americans in the Western Hockey League. His performances helped his team finish with 47 wins and 96 points, both franchise records.

In just over four full seasons in Tri-City, Price, a 6-foot-3, 212-pound goaltender, posted an overall record of 83-78-18 in 193 games, a 2.53 GAA and a .906 save percentage. He also recorded 15 shutouts.

On the international scene, Price led Canada to the gold medal at the 2007 World Junior Championships in Sweden. Selected as the tournament’s most valuable player and named to the all-star team, Price won each of his team’s six games, posted a 1.14 GAA and a .961 save percentage. He also registered two shutouts.

Price, a native of Williams Lake, B.C., was the Canadiens’ first-round pick, fifth overall, in 2005.