PITTSBURGH - APRIL 14: Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators celebrates his power play goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Mellon Arena on April 14, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Erik Karlsson was the top defenseman in the NHL over the past season. He will now be a member of the Senators for the better part of the next decade.
The Ottawa Senators had an impressive 2011-12 season that ended with a strong showing in the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. Although the Sens did not realize their ultimate goal of winning the cup, they showed tremendous promise for the coming years. Clearly believing the team is on the right track, the Senators organization is making the necessary offseason moves to ensure the club remains strong heading into next season. Their first bit of business? Locking up defenseman Erik Karlsson.
On Tuesday, the official Ottawa Senators Twitter feed announced that the team has signed Karlsson to a seven-year extension. Bob McKenzie of TSN later reported that Karlsson will make $6.5 million in each of the seven years of the contract.
Karlsson was selected by the Sens as the 15th overall pick in the 2008 NHL draft. Karlsson made his NHL debut in 2009 and was selected to the 2011 NHL All-Star Game after recording 25 points in the season's first 41 games. He again made the All-Star team this past season, this time as the league's top vote-getter in the exhibition game. Karlsson wrapped up 2011-12 as the NHL's highest-scoring defenseman and one of three finalists for this year's Norris Trophy. He will definitely figure to be a big component of Ottawa's future success.