Alex Tuch now has security. And George McPhee continues to build security and cost certainty for the Vegas Golden Knights.
McPhee announced Friday a seven-year and $33.25 million extension for the 22-year-old Tuch.
The winger had 15 goals and 22 assists in 78 games with Vegas last season and then added six goals and four assists in 20 playoffs matches.
The 6-4, 220-pound Tuch grew his game last season using his size and speed to carve out a regular gig in the NHL.
"This was a little bit of a surprise," said Tuch. "I sat down with George and he said he wanted to sign me to an extension. I was already smiling ear-to-ear before the deal was even done. It didn't take us too long, I think we were pretty much on the same page, just a few kinks here and there which we had to iron out but I couldn't be any more excited. Honestly, it's a big moment for my family and I. I've worked really hard to get to this moment. Now it's all about the Golden Knights and being a part of this great franchise for a really long time. This is where I started my full-time NHL career and seven years is really special and honestly, I'm just really grateful."
McPhee has begun to build a core of young players in Vegas and getting them on long-term deals which gives the club cost certainty going forward has been part of the plan.
Tuch joins Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, Brayden McNabb, Shea Theodore and Colin Miller as a player under 30 on a long-term contract. The max cap hit among those pacts is $5.2 million.
The average annual value of Tuch's contract is $4.75 million and if he continues to grow as a player it will offer the team great value.
"I think my assets as a player center around me being diverse. I play a full 200-foot game. I'm strong on the puck, I make room for my linemates, I shoot the puck well and I skate well, but I also bring that physical asset," said Tuch. "I like going in corners, I like going to the front of the net. I'm that big presence out there and I try to be a game changer every night."
Tuch was thrilled at the possibility of staying in Vegas for the full seven years of his extension.
"The people of Vegas and the organization have treated me better than I could have ever expected," he said. "It's been special. It's been phenomenal. I don't know how many words I can come up with in my thesaurus to describe it, but I really feel at home here. I feel that this city really fits my personality, fits everything that I have wanted out of life and the fans are amazing. The support we get every day at practice and games."
Power forwards who can score are a commodity in today's NHL. Tuch knows who he has patterned his game after and where he wants to go as a growing player.
"I look at guys like Jamie Benn and Blake Wheeler, those guys are game changers every night. I like taking different parts from different players that I like watching," said Tuch. "But those guys are big, strong and good offensively and solid defensively and they go to the net and go to the hard areas. They stick up for their teammates when they need to and are hard to play against. That's the kind of player I want to be."