RALEIGH, N.C. -- Defenseman Jaccob Slavin agreed to a seven-year contract extension with the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday.
The contract, which begins for the 2018-19 season, carries an average annual value of $5.3 million. Slavin has one season remaining on his entry-level contract at $742,500, according to CapFriendly.com. He would have been a restricted free agent after this season.
"We love it here, and we've definitely made it a home ever since we first got out here," Slavin said. "It's been awesome. It definitely made the decision-making real easy."
Slavin, 23, had NHL career highs in points (34), goals (five) and assists (29) last season. The Erie, Colorado, native led the Hurricanes in blocked shots (161), takeaways (83) and time on ice per game (23:26), and was tied for first with a plus-23 rating (Brett Pesce).
Selected by the Hurricanes in the fourth round (No. 120) of the 2012 NHL Draft, Slavin has seven goals and 47 assists in 145 games with the Hurricanes.
"We think he's part of one of the best young defense corps in the game, if not the best," Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis said. "In addition to that, he's also a man of extreme character both on and off the ice. Both he and his wife, Kylie, do an awful lot in the community at their young age. That will continue, so we are thrilled to have him as part of our organization moving forward."
Slavin's contract is the latest move in a busy offseason for Carolina, which signed forward Justin Williams to a two-year contract on July 1 after acquiring goaltender Scott Darling in a trade from the Chicago Blackhawks on April 28. The Hurricanes also acquired defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk in a trade from the Vegas Golden Knights on June 22, one day after he was selected from the Blackhawks in the NHL Expansion Draft, and forward Marcus Kruger in a trade from the Golden Knights on July 4, two days after Chicago traded him to Vegas.
Video: CAR@NYI: Slavin finds twine with long slap shot
"The moves that Ron has made in the past couple months have been unbelievable, and it gets me really excited to be a part of this future in Raleigh for the next eight seasons," Slavin said.
Francis met with Slavin and agent Kurt Overhardt in Raleigh on Saturday. It took a few email exchanges and phone calls to agree to the contract.
"In this case, we felt comfortable with Jaccob and the kind of person he is," Francis said. "This contract and the term is not going to change who he is or how hard to works or how he plays. When you get comfortable with that, then it's pretty easy to make the commitment to a seven-year deal."
Slavin has earned a reputation as one of the League's best young defensemen, but his humility and religious faith are central to his personality.
"I'm going to continue to play my game and help the team win the best I can," he said. "Notoriety for me doesn't really get in my head. I'll just continue to keep chugging along. You know I stand in my faith and I'm definitely going to give all the glory to God for putting me where I am now."
Video: Jaccob Slavin on his new deal with the Hurricanes
Francis will turn his attention to signing two more restricted free agent defensemen, Pesce and Noah Hanifin. Pesce and Slavin make up Carolina's top defense pair; Hanifin, selected in the first round (No. 5) in the 2015 draft, is being groomed for his offensive skills.
"I don't want to mention who, but we have reached out to a lot of our guys in similar situation that Jaccob was in," Francis said. "Some we are in discussions with, some are going to get back to us. We will see how those proceed in the upcoming months."