Coyotes Sign Connor Murphy to Six-Year Extension

The Arizona Coyotes have signed restricted free agent defenseman Connor Murphy to a six-year contract extension, the team announced on Thursday.

The deal will pay the 23-year-old $23.1 million over six years, equalling an average annual value of $3.85 million, according to The contract will eat up his first two unrestricted free agent years.

Murphy, who is coming off of his entry-level contract, posted career-highs in 2015-16 with six goals, 11 assists and 17 points in 78 games. He played a lot of minutes alongside star blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Since turning pro in 2013, he has skated in 181 games with the Coyotes, tallying 11 goals and 32 points with a minus-17 rating. In 36 AHL games back in 2013-14, he had 13 assists.

The Boston, Massachusetts native led all defensemen in goal scoring during this offseason’s IIHF World Championships and was named one of the top three players on Team USA.

With Murphy locked down long-term, the club now has three young defensemen to build around in him, Ekman-Larsson and 2016 first-round draft pick Jakob Chychrun. With a solid group of young forwards as well, the Arizona Coyotes should be set up to be a successful team in the near future.

Arizona drafted forward Clayton Keller with the seventh overall pick in June’s draft and they have a young core of Max Domi, Anthony Duclair and current RFA Tobias Reider already playing in the NHL. Christian Dvorak, the club’s second-round draft pick in 2014, is also coming off of a big season with the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League.