NEW YORK (AP) The Rangers have avoided arbitration with defenseman Brady Skjei and agreed on a six-year contract.

New York general manager Jeff Gorton announced the deal with the 24-year-old restricted free agent on Saturday, three days before Sjkei's arbitration hearing was scheduled. Skjei was coming off his entry-level contract.

Skjei is a poster boy for the Rangers' rebuild as a young, homegrown player counted on to take on an increased role. The 2012 first-round pick has already played 169 NHL games and is going into his third full season.

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Playing all 82 games last season, Sjkei averaged a career-high 21 minutes a game and had four goals and 21 assists. He was 10th in Calder Trophy voting for rookie of the year in 2016-17 when he had 39 points.


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