NASHVILLE -- Forward Filip Forsberg signed a six-year, $36 million contract with the Nashville Predators on Monday that runs through the 2021-22 season.
Forsberg could have become a restricted free agent July 1 but was intent on getting a long-term contract to stay in Nashville.
"It's been great since Day One since I got here," Forsberg said. "Everyone in Nashville is great. The staff is awesome, the ownership is great. I mean the fans are one of the best in the League, if not the loudest then one of the best fans in the League. Why wouldn't you want to play where you really like it?"
Forsberg was selected by the Washington Capitals with the 11th pick of the 2012 NHL Draft and traded to the Predators for forwards Martin Erat and Michael Latta on April 3, 2013. He played a total of 18 games his first two seasons, then led the Predators in points in 2014-15 with 63 and 2015-16 with 64.
Video: Filip Forsberg signs deal with Nashville
Forsberg said he believes the Predators, who advanced to the Western Conference Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season before losing in seven games to the eventual conference champion San Jose Sharks, have the necessary pieces to compete for the Stanley Cup in the coming years.
"Our team has been growing and growing every year," Forsberg said. "This year was no exception. We had a really good run, and we've got the pieces in my opinion to take the next step here in the future and I want to be a big part of that, that's for sure."
Forsberg is one of the youngest members of the Predators forwards and the organization believes he is just starting to realize his potential. Forsberg tied the Predators record for goals in a season with 33 in 2015-16 and finished 10th in the voting for the 2016 Selke Trophy.
"Filip is among the most skilled, dynamic talents we've ever had in the organization and is an integral part of our success for the next six years and beyond," Predators general manager David Poile said. "While we have already seen his creativity, hockey sense and puck skills, he has yet to reach the peak of his abilities. We have full confidence that he will continue to blossom into one of the top players in the world."
It took Forsberg time to adjust to the North American style of hockey after coming over from Europe. He spent time in the American Hockey League with Milwaukee, where he got bigger and stronger and now is arguably the best two-way forward the Predators have.
Forsberg said he knows the contract will bring added pressure, but he wants to bring the same approach to the game that has made him successful to this point in his career.
"People are going to talk about it and obviously all of that, but at the same time I don't want to change anything," Forsberg said. "I want to play the type of game that I've always been playing, and I want to be the kind of guy that I've been with the team. Some things might change, but I hope to stay the same and obviously want to just play the same type of way and become a better player and help the team become even better and have a few successful seasons ahead of us."
The six-year contract would keep Forsberg with the Predators until he is 27 years old.
"I never really thought about anything else but staying with Nashville," he said. "I think we've got something really interesting going, and I want to be a part of that. Six years just sounded perfect when it was brought up. I think it'll be really exciting and I'm really looking forward to the future."