MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens have signed new defenceman Joel Edmundson to a four-year contract with an average annual value of US$3.5 million.

The Habs traded a fifth-round pick to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday to acquire the rights to Edmundson, who could have become an unrestricted free agent next month.

The 27-year-old native of Brandon, Man., set career highs in points (20) and assists (13) in 68 games this past season.

The previous year, Edmundson helped the St. Louis Blues win the Stanley Cup.