The Nashville Predators signed forward Austin Watson to a three-year, $3.3 million contract Monday to avoid salary arbitration.
The hearing was scheduled for Monday in Toronto. The deal will pay Watson $1 million in 2017-18, $1.1 million in 2018-19 and $1.2 million in 2019-20, the team announced.
Watson, 25, set career highs in goals (five), assists (12) and points (17), penalty minutes (99) and games played (77) during the 2016-17 season as he established himself as key member of the Predators.
The 6-foot-4, 204-pound left winger added four goals and five assists in 22 postseason games as the Predators advanced to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history.
Watson appeared in 57 games for the Predators during the 2015-16 season, recording three goals and seven assists.
The native of Ann Arbor, Mich., led Milwaukee and tied for 14th in the American Hockey League in goals (26) in 2014-15, in addition to tying for second among all AHL skaters in game-winning goals with eight while appearing in all 76 regular-season games for the Admirals.
Watson was selected by Nashville in the first round (18th overall) of the 2010 NHL draft.