Predators sign defenseman Josi to 7-year contract

Monday, 06.10.2013 / 3:16 PM

The Nashville Predators won't have to worry about defenseman Roman Josi testing the free-agent waters anytime soon.

The team announced Monday it had signed the emerging young talent to a seven-year, $28 million contract.

After losing Ryan Suter to the Minnesota Wild in the summer of 2012 and having to match an offer sheet by the Philadelphia Flyers to retain Shea Weber, Predators general manager David Poile said he is relieved to have Josi in the fold long-term.

Josi, 23, could have become a restricted free agent this summer.

"Re-signing Roman was a top priority as we look to regroup heading into the 2013-14 season," Poile said. "Roman has proven, with his growth and success here in Nashville and on the international stage, that he is one of the best young defensemen in the NHL. Roman's skating ability and instincts have allowed him to play in all key situations. With today's signing, we have our top defensive pairing locked up long-term, and we look forward to Roman's continued development and contribution to the Predators' on-ice success."

Josi, a 2008 second-round pick, has 10 goals and 34 points in 100 games in his first two NHL seasons. He had four multipoint games in 2012-13, including a two-goal, four-point game against the Dallas Stars on Feb. 25 that ended with him scoring in overtime.

Josi also was a star for his country of Switzerland during the recent IIHF World Championship. The Swiss went undefeated all the way to the final before losing to Sweden in the gold-medal game and taking home the silver. Josi led all defensemen in the tournament with four goals and nine points.

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