Ducks re-sign D Sami Vatanen for 4 years, $19.5 million
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Defenseman Sami Vatanen re-signed with the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, agreeing to a four-year, $19.5 million deal through the 2019-20 season.
Vatanen was a restricted free agent after recording nine goals and a career-high 29 assists last season. The aggressive, puck-moving Finn also led the Ducks' defensemen with 19 points on Anaheim's NHL-best power play.
The former fourth-round pick has 98 points in 194 games for the Ducks. He had a career-best 38 points last season, Anaheim's highest-scoring season for a defenseman since 2011.
Vatanen and fellow restricted free agent Hampus Lindholm frequently played together as key components of the Ducks' impressive defense, which won the franchise's first Jennings Trophy last season for allowing the NHL's fewest goals (192).
The 25-year-old Vatanen made $1.275 million last season. He will be the Ducks' highest-paid defenseman next season, making $5 million in each of the next three seasons.
The Ducks still have several free agents to re-sign, including four key restricted free agents: Lindholm, goalie Frederik Andersen and forwards Rickard Rakell and Brandon Pirri. Their unrestricted free agents include David Perron and Jamie McGinn.
With so many players to re-sign, Vatanen had been a prominent feature in trade rumors around the Ducks. Instead, he became their first major re-signing since the team re-hired Randy Carlyle as its coach on Tuesday.
Vatanen won an Olympic bronze medal in Sochi, finishing second among all players in the tournament with five assists. He will play for Finland at the World Cup of Hockey in three months.