Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Slated to become a restricted free agent next year, Keller will now remain in the desert through the 2027-28 season. 

By Associated Press
September 04, 2019

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Clayton Keller has lived up to lofty expectations, becoming one of Arizona's best players by his second full NHL season.

The Coyotes rewarded the skilled forward with an eight-year contract extension with an average annual salary of $7.15 million.

Slated to become a restricted free agent next year, Keller will now remain in the desert through the 2027-28 season.

''Clayton is elite in every sense of the word,'' Coyotes general manager John Chayka said in a statement. ''He is not only an All-Star and one of the premiere offensive playmakers in the league, but he is equally special as a person with his drive and determination to be great. We are thankful to Clayton for believing in our future and look forward to him playing a vital role on this team for many years to come.''

Keller was tabbed as a star in the making after the Coyotes selected him with the seventh overall pick of the 2016 NHL draft.

Keller didn't disappoint, setting a franchise rookie record with a 10-game points streak and becoming a finalist for the Calder Trophy after scoring 23 goals with 42 assists in 2017-18.

A native of Chesterfield, Missouri, the 21-year-old Keller became the youngest player in franchise history to play in the All-Star game last season. He led the Coyotes with 14 goals and 33 assists in 82 games.

Keller also joined Dale Hawerchuk and Teemu Selanne as the only players in franchise history to have four separate points streaks of at least six games within the first 100 games of his career. He has 37 goals and 77 assists in 167 career games.

''This is a truly special day for my family and I,'' Keller said. ''I love everything about being a Coyote. My teammates are great. We have a great coaching staff. Everything about this organization is on the right track and I know we have an opportunity to do some special things here for a long time. Arizona is where I want to be and I'm proud to commit to the Coyotes long term.''

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