COLUMBUS, OHIO -- The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Markus Nutivaara to a four-year contract extension through the 2021-22 National Hockey League season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Nutivaara, 23, has registered six goals and 16 assists for 22 points with 14 penalty minutes and a +10 plus/minus rating in 59 games this season, including 3-1-4 and +3 over the past six contests. He has posted career highs in goals, assists, points and penalty minutes, ranking second among club defensemen in plus/minus and third in goals, assists and points.
"Markus is a smart, mobile defenseman who reads the ice very well and excels at moving the puck," said Kekalainen. "He has become an important part of our blueline over the past two seasons and we look forward to his continued growth and contributions to our team success moving forward."
A native of Oulu, Finland, Nutivaara has recorded 8-21-29, 20 penalty minutes and a +17 plus/minus rating in 125 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets. He made his NHL debut in 2016-17, collecting 2-5-7 and was +7 in 66 games and adding 1-1-2 in a pair of Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Selected by Columbus in the seventh round, 189th overall, at the 2015 NHL Draft, Nutivaara signed a two-year entry level contract with the club in May 2016. Prior to joining the Blue Jackets, he played in Finland and registered 6-18-24, 18 penalty minutes and was +17 in 85 career Liiga games with Karpat from 2014-16.