Colorado Avalanche sign Valeri Nichushkin to 8-year extension
Ricky Gray | July 12, 2022
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The new extension is reported to be worth up to $49m.
Pending unrestricted free agent Valeri Nichushkin has reached an agreement with the Colorado Avalanche by way of an 8-year extension. The value of the extension is said to be up to $49m.
The contract has an annual average value of $6.1m, sources told ESPN, which confirms an initial report by The Athletic.
Over 62 games, Nichushkin posted 25 goals and 52 points and was vital in the Avalanche securing their first Stanley Cup championship since 2001. During the playoffs, he posted nine goals and 15 points in 20 games.
Nichushkin was selected 10th overall by the Dallas Stars in the 2013 NHL draft and had a strong first year in 2013-14 with 14 goals and 34 points in 79 games.
However, his sophomore year was marred by injuries and his performance suffered over the next two seasons. At one point, Nichushkin left the NHL entirely and joined the KHL's CSKA Moscow.
Nichushkin returned to Dallas for the 2018-19 season and produced 10 assists in 57 games, Dallas let him go shortly after this season.
In August of 2019, the Colorado Avalanche signed Nichushkin to a one-year, $850,000. Thus far, it’s proved to be a successful addition for Colorado.
Colorado Coach Jared Bednar said: “We brought him in, and his confidence was down. It's built up over the years, and he's [become] such a huge part of our team. The things he does don't go unnoticed in our locker room and with all the other guys.”
Bednar continued: “They know the role he can play in our success. It's the system that we play, and what we sort of demand of our players on the defensive side of it [that's] a huge strength of Val's. He's a big, long, strong guy that can skate.”
This long-term move by the Avalanche could mean that center Nazem Kadri won’t be returning.