Patric Hornqvist beat the odds to play in the NHL. Now he has a lucrative, long-term contract to show for it.
The Nashville Predators on Tuesday announced the signing of Hornqvist to a five-year, $21.25 million extension. Hornqvist could have become a restricted free agent this summer.
Hornqvist was limited to 23 games this season due to injuries, but scored 20-plus goals in each of his three full NHL seasons, the first Nashville draft pick to do so.
"As we build towards the 2013-14 season and beyond, re-signing Patric Hornqvist was an offseason priority," general manager David Poile said in a statement released by the team. "Since joining the Predators, he has become -- and will remain -- an integral member of our core group. Patric is everything we talk about as a Predator -- he is relentless in going to the net and willing to pay the price to score goals, has a terrific work ethic and is a quality person who is respected on and off the ice
Hornqvist, 26, was selected in the seventh round of the 2005 NHL Draft, with the 230th and final pick. He became the ninth of 44 players selected with the final pick of a modern-era draft (since 1969) to go on to play in the NHL. He is one of three players picked last to play at least 100 NHL games and score at least 20 goals.
Hornqvist became the fourth player in Nashville franchise history to score 30 goals in a season in 2009-10, also tying for second in the NHL in game-winning goals (eight) and finishing among the League leaders in power-play goals (10).
He ranked second on the team in goals in 2010-11 and led them in that category in 2011-12 with 27.
In 287 NHL games, the 6-foot, 190-pound right wing has 84 goals and 163 points; he's 10th on the franchise's all-time goals list.
Hornqvist also has become a mainstay on the Swedish national team, participating in three World Championship tournaments since 2007, in addition to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.