The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the organization has signed captain Gabriel Landeskog to an eight-year contract that runs through the 2028-29 season.
Landeskog, 28, completed his 10th NHL season in 2020-21, his ninth as the Avalanche's captain. Only Joe Sakic (16 consecutive seasons, 17 overall) served as the franchise's captain for a longer period of time. Landeskog's nine-year run as captain is tied for the fifth-longest streak among current NHL players, trailing only Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby (14 seasons), Chicago's Jonathan Toews (13), Washington's Alex Ovechkin (12) and Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf (11). Philadelphia's Claude Giroux is tied with Landeskog at nine seasons.
The Stockholm, Sweden, native captained the Avalanche to the Presidents' Trophy and Honda West Division championship in 2020-21. Landeskog, who was the youngest captain in NHL history when he assumed the role at 19 years, 286 days on Sept. 4, 2012, has led the Avalanche to four straight playoff berths, the third-longest streak of postseason appearances in franchise history.
Video: Gabriel Landeskog 2020-21 season highlights
"We are thrilled to have our captain signed to a long-term deal. Gabe is the heart and soul of this team and an integral part of our organization both on the ice and in the community," said Avalanche Executive Vice President / General Manager Joe Sakic. "He's the consummate leader, a great teammate, and alongside (Nathan) MacKinnon and (Mikko) Rantanen, is part of what has been one of the NHL's best lines over the past four seasons. We are excited to have Landy in an Avalanche sweater for many years to come."
The second overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Landeskog has recorded 218 goals and 294 assists for 512 points in 687 career regular-season games. He ranks sixth on the franchise's all-time list in goals, seventh in games, eighth in points and 11th in assists. His 38 game-winning goals are tied for sixth in franchise annals while his 61 power-play goals rank seventh.
Since the franchise relocated to Denver in 1995, Landeskog's 218 goals trail only Sakic (391) and Milan Hejduk (375) for the most in an Avalanche sweater. He is fifth in points and ranks fourth in games played, power-play tallies and game-winning markers in Colorado history.
Only Nikita Kucherov has more goals (221) and points (547) among players from the 2011 draft class, while only Sean Couturier (692) has appeared in more games.
Video: LAK@COL: Landeskog backhands home 20th goal of season
Landeskog finished second on the club in goals (20-tied) and third in points (52) during the shortened 2020-21 campaign. It marked his eighth career 20-goal season, third most by an Avalanche player since the franchise relocated behind Hejduk and Sakic (both 11). Landeskog led the club and tied for third in the NHL with eight game-winning goals. He also paced the team in hits (81), power-play goals (9-tied) and faceoff percentage (56.6). His 56.6 faceoff percentage ranked 10th in the NHL and was the highest of any winger in 2020-21. He scored his 200th NHL goal on Jan. 15 vs. St. Louis and picked up his 500th NHL point on April 11 at Anaheim. Landeskog added 13 points (4g/9a) in 10 playoff games, ranking third on the club.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound forward has appeared in 49 career Stanley Cup Playoff outings, totaling 45 points (16g/29a). He led Colorado in points (seven) and goals (four) during the 2018 playoffs and set a playoff career high with 13 points (2g/11a) in 14 contests during the 2020 postseason.
Landeskog won the 2012 Calder Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year. He became the third Swedish-born player to win the Calder, following Peter Forsberg (1994-95 with Quebec) and Daniel Alfredsson (1995-96 with Ottawa), and was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. He finished tied for first among rookies with 52 points (22g/30a) while appearing in all 82 games that year. Landeskog, who was awarded the rookie scoring title on the basis of more goals, ranked second among first-year players in goals and was third in assists, making him the only player to finish among the top three rookies in all three categories. He was the second NHL rookie to ever surpass 20 goals and 200 hits in a season, joining Dion Phaneuf with Calgary in 2005-06.
Landeskog was selected to his first NHL All-Star Game in 2018-19, a year in which he set career highs in points (75), goals (34) and assists (41). He became only the second left wing in Avalanche history to reach the 30-goal mark, joining Valeri Kamensky (38) in 1995-96. He led the team and finished tied for second in the NHL with nine game-winning goals and ranked first in the league with 20 third-period tallies, a single-season Avalanche record.
Video: COL@WPG: Landeskog goes top shelf with backhander
In 2017-18, he captained the Avalanche to a 47-point turnaround, tied for the fourth highest in NHL history, while in 2013-14, he helped lead the Avs to a record-tying 52 wins and the franchise's first division title since 2002-03.
Internationally, Landeskog represented Sweden at the 2014 Olympics, the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, four IIHF World Championships (2012, 2013, 2017, 2019), the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2009 IIHF Under-18 World Championship. He won a gold medal at the 2013 and 2017 IIHF World Championship and helped his country to the silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Prior to turning pro, Landeskog played two seasons with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. He captained the Rangers in 2010-11, becoming the first European captain in the 48-year history of the franchise. He was also the youngest player in 30 years to be named captain of the Rangers when he assumed the role at the age of 17 on Oct. 24, 2010. Despite an ankle injury shortening his 2010-11 season to 53 games, Landeskog led Kitchener with 36 goals and finished third on the team with 66 points.
Landeskog was named to the OHL All-Rookie Team in 2009-10 after finishing third among league rookies with 46 points (24g/22a) in 61 games with Kitchener. Before coming to North America, Landeskog debuted in the Swedish Elite League with Djurgarden at 16 years and 90 days in 2008-09, making him the youngest player in the club's history.
Off the ice, Landeskog was Colorado's nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy (leadership and humanitarian contribution) for six straight seasons from 2014-15 to 2019-20. He serves as a group ambassador for "Friends," a global anti-bullying effort based in Stockholm. He became the face of unique initiative when he participated in the You Can Play Project, which featured a video of Landeskog that the Colorado High School Activities Association used as the kickoff for a statewide effort that puts diversity and inclusion messaging in every locker room and student activity in Colorado. His many charitable efforts include joining the NHL and Avalanche in hosting a sled hockey exhibition match between the Warrior Avs (composed of military veterans) and the 2015 national champion Colorado Avalanche sled hockey team at Coors Field on Feb. 28, 2016. He developed "#Landeskoging" T-shirts following the 2011-12 season in which proceeds of every shirt sold were donated to the Children's Hospital Colorado Foundation.