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Nashville Predators sign D Mattias Ekholm to 4-year, $25M extension

Nashville Predators sign D Mattias Ekholm to 4-year, $25M extension
Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm (14), shown March 18, 2016, has played all eight of his NHL seasons with the Predators. File Photo by Mark Goldman/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 13 (UPI) -- The Nashville Predators have signed star defenseman Mattias Ekholm to a four-year, $25 million contract extension that will keep him with the organization through the 2025-26 season.

The Predators announced Ekholm's long-term deal Wednesday at a news conference.

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"We're super excited to stay here, and it was a no-brainer for us," said Ekholm, who was seated close to his family during the news conference at Bridgestone Arena. "We wanted to stay for 20 years, but we'll start with the four and we'll see what David can do in the future."

Predators general manager David Poile said Ekholm was a "foundational player" for the franchise and the club couldn't be happier to reach an agreement with him before the team's season opener against the Seattle Kraken on Thursday night.

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"We have a group of young, right-shot defensemen that includes Alexandre Carrier, Philippe Myers, Dante Fabbro and Matt Benning who all have the opportunity to learn from and play with Mattias on the side opposite him, and we're excited about the stability that will provide us on the blue line," Poile said.

Ekholm's extension starts in the 2022-23 campaign and has an average annual value of $6.25 million.

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The 31-year-old Ekholm, a fourth-round pick in the 2009 draft, made his NHL debut during the 2011-12 season. He has played all eight of his professional seasons with the Predators, recording at least 20 points in each of the last six campaigns.

Ekholm has appeared in 71 playoff games, tied for third most among skaters in Predators history. His plus-14 rating in the postseason is a franchise-best mark.

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