The Colorado Avalanche re-signed restricted free-agent Erik Johnson to a four-year contract Tuesday. Financial terms of the deal were not released, but NHL Network's E.J. Hradek reported the deal would pay Johnson $15 million for an average annual value of $3.75 million.
"I've wanted to be in Colorado the whole time and the four-year deal is so good for me and my family and I'm so excited to be a part of the Avalanche for the next four years," Johnson said in a phone interview with The Denver Post. "Right from the get-go in negotiations we targeted the four-year deal and managed to come to terms yesterday and sign the contract last night. I'm just very excited, very appreciative and very grateful for this opportunity from the Avalanche."
The 24-year-old defenseman was the first pick in the 2006 NHL Draft by the St. Louis Blues, who dealt him to the Avalanche in February 2011. Johnson had four goals and 22 assists in 73 games for the Avalanche last season.
"Since Erik's arrival in Colorado, he has provided stability, size and an offensive presence to our blue line," Avalanche general manager/executive vice president Greg Sherman said. "At only 24 years of age, we believe that Erik will continue to grow his game and we are thrilled to have him under contract."
The 6-foot-4, 232-pound Johnson has 27 goals and 100 assists in 298 career NHL games. Last season, Johnson led the Avs in ice time (20:50) and points by a defenseman (26).
Johnson missed the entire 2008-09 season with the Blues after tearing his ACL and MCL in a golf cart accident during the offseason.