(via Tampa Bay Lightning Communications) - The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Nikita Kucherov to an eight-year contract extension worth an average of $9.5 million today, vice president and general manager announced. The contract keeps Kucherov through the 2026-27 season.
"I'm truly grateful to sign this contract extension to keep me in Tampa for the next eight seasons today," Kucherov said. "I'd like to thank the Lightning organization and all of the fans for the support since making the Bay Area my home."
Kucherov, 5-foot-11, 178 pounds, recorded 39 goals and 100 points in 2017-18, along with a plus-15 rating, eight power play goals and seven game-winning goals. He ranked third in the NHL for points, sixth for assists and tied for ninth for goals. Kucherov led the Lightning in most offensive categories in 2017-18, including goals, assists and points, while also ranking tied for second for power play goals and second for game-winners. His 19:49 in average ice time led all Tampa Bay forwards.
The Maykop, Russia native appeared in 17 Stanley Cup Playoff games in 2018 as the Lightning lost in Game 7 to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals. He paced the Bolts with 17 points and was tied for first with seven goals and nine assists.
Kucherov, 25, has skated in 365 career NHL games, all with Tampa Bay, registering 147 goals, 334 points, 39 power play goals and 23 game-winners. He scored a career-high 40 goals during the 2016-17 season, while his 100 points during this past campaign were also a career best.Since the start of the 2016 season, Kucherov's 185 points ranks second in the entire NHL, behind only Edmonton's Connor McDavid. He also ranks third for goals during that same span with 79, trailing Washington's Alex Ovechkin (82) and Patrick Laine of the Winnipeg Jets (80).
The two-time NHL All-Star has played in 62 career Stanley Cup Playoff Games, scoring 29 goals and adding 59 points. Dating back to the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, no other Lightning player has more playoff goals (28) or points (58) than Kucherov. He also ranks second for assists (30), behind only Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Victor Hedman.
Kucherov was drafted by the Lightning in the second round, 58th overall, of the 2011 NHL Draft.
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