Predators sign Mattias Ekholm to 6-year, $22.5 million deal

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Nashville Predators have signed defenseman Mattias Ekholm to a six-year, $22.5 million contract.

Predators general manager David Poile announced the deal Monday.

Ekholm, 25, is a restricted free agent who already has a goal and two assists in seven games this season. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound defenseman currently has 30 points and 66 penalty minutes in 152 career games. He doubled his rookie production last season with 18 points and had a plus-12 rating.

The 102nd draft choice overall in 2009, Ekholm made his postseason debut last spring. He played in all six games against Chicago and tied for the team lead with a plus-4 rating while averaging 26 minutes, 24 seconds of ice time.

The deal averages $3.75 million per year for Nashville.