Nikita Kucherov won't have to negotiate a new contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning anytime soon, but his agent said he is already making plans.
"We'll get him a good contract that Nikita will earn, that's satisfactory for both sides," Dan Milstein told the Tampa Bay Times in remarks published Tuesday. "We're not going to try and break the bank. We'll see."
Kucherov, who turned 24 on June 17, is entering the second year of a three-year contract with an NHL salary-cap charge of $4.76 million annually. The restricted free agent forward signed it Oct. 11, two days before last season started, rather than hold out.
He scored 40 goals, tied with Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs for second in the NHL (Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins scored 44).
Kucherov, the No. 58 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, has 234 points (108 goals, 126 assists) in 285 games. His 0.93 points per game over the past three seasons ranks eighth in the NHL among players who have played that time.
Video: TBL@MTL: Kucherov nets his 40th goal of the season
"[Nikita] knows what's expected and wants to be great," Milstein said. "He wants to keep working, improving and building on last year's performance."
Tampa Bay signed restricted free agent forwards Tyler Johnson (seven years, $5 million per season) and Ondrej Palat (five years, $5.3 million) this offseason.
Kucherov can sign an extension with Tampa Bay on July 1, 2018.
Milstein confirmed that Kucherov met with Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman in June after Kucherov reportedly made negative comments about some of his teammates to a Russian newspaper.
"They got on the same page. There's no disagreements," Milstein said. "Everything is good. What was said is done, stays in the past."