The Nashville Predators have re-signed longtime defenseman Mattias Ekholm to a four-year contract extension worth $25 million.
Ekholm Puts Pen to Paper Early, Gets Big Pay Boost
The extention runs through 2025-26 and will kick in next season. This season is the final one on his current contract, which he signed in 2015 and sees him paid $3.75 million annually. The new contract represents a significant pay boost to a 6.25 million AAV.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Ekholm has become one of the Predators’ most recognizable and significant players in franchise history. Originally selected in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, the lefthander has spent his entire 10-year career in the Music City.
In 586-career games, the product of Borlange, Sweden has 51 goals and 168 assist for 219 points and has skated an average of 21:36. He has six goals and 27 assists for 33 points in 77-career playoff games.
He is eighth overall in Predators’ franchise history in games played, second in plus/minus (plus 90) and sixth in points among defensemen.
Some pundits, such as The Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn, feel the deal could age poorly considering Ekholm is already 31. That being said, his AAV puts him in line with other top-four defensemen such as the Montreal Canadiens’ Jeff Petry and the Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Schmidt.
Ekholm and the Predators will begin the 2021-22 campaign tomorrow night at home against the brand-new Seattle Kraken. The Predators are in what can be classified as a “competitive rebuild” and are generally expected to finish in the middle of the Central Division pack.
Declan Schroeder is a 26-year-old communications specialist and freelance journalist in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He holds a diploma in Creative Communications with a major in journalism from Red River College and a bachelors in Rhetoric and Communications from the University of Winnipeg.
Deeply rooted in the city’s hockey culture, the original Jets skipped town when he was two and the 2.0 version came onto the scene when he was 17.