The Columbus Blue Jackets
have signed 22-year-old defenseman Kris Russell
to a three-year contract extension. General Manager Scott Howson announced the extension on Saturday but didn't disclose contract terms.
Russell, taken by Columbus in the third round (No. 67) in the 2005 Entry Draft, has 4 goals and 28 assists for 32 points and 42 penalty minutes in 137 career games with the Blue Jackets. He was 2-19-21 and 28 penalty minutes in 66 games with Columbus last season. His point total ranked third among club defensemen and nearly doubled the output of his rookie season, when he was 2-8-10 with 14 penalty minutes in 67 games.
Russell has one point, an assist, in four games this season while averaging 15:30 of ice time.
"Kris is an important player for us, not only in the present, but in the future," Howson said in a statement. "We believe he has just scratched the surface of his potential."
Prior to turning pro, the Caroline, Alta., native had 76 goals and 120 assists for 196 points with 142 penalty minutes in 241 games with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League. He was a back-to-back winner of the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s defenseman of the year in 2005-06 and 2006-07 and won the Four Broncos Trophy as the WHL Player of the Year while leading the Tigers to the WHL championship in 2006-07.