Tuesday March 24th, 2015

The Vancouver Canucks have signed defenseman Chris Tanev to a five-year extension, the team announced on Tuesday.

The deal will keep Tanev in Vancouver through the 2020-21 season. The 25-year-old has two goals and 14 assists for the Canucks this season.

General manager Jim Benning said Tanev will play a big role in the team’s future.

“Chris has developed into an excellent NHL defenseman and is an extremely important part of our team,” Benning said. “He’s a player you want on the ice in the most critical points of a game and we’re excited about having him with our group as we continue to play to win today, with an eye to the future.”

• ​MUIR: Ilya Kovalchuk may use loophole to return to NHL

Tanev was signed as an undrafted free agent in May 2010 after playing one season of college hockey at RIT. He joined the Canucks full-time last season after splitting the previous three seasons between Vancouver and the American Hockey League.

Vancouver is currently second in the Pacific Division, two points ahead of the third-place Calgary Flames and four points up on the fourth-place Los Angeles Kings.

• ​MUIR: Rare gems among college free agents

- Phil Watson

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.