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Girard signs seven-year extension with Avalanche

Defenseman had NHL career high in points in 2018-19; contract begins next season @NHLdotcom

Samuel Girard signed a seven-year contract extension with the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday. Financial terms were not released.

The 21-year-old defenseman has one year remaining on a three-year contract he signed with the Nashville Predators on Sept. 29, 2016.

"I like Colorado, it's a nice city there, and I really like this team, I like the organization," Girard told NHL Network. "So I told my agent [I wanted to sign long term]. ... I'm pretty happy about it and very excited to be a part of this organization."

Girard had NHL career highs in goals (four), assists (23) and points (27) playing 82 games with Colorado last season, and had two assists in nine Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Video: Girard on signing seven-year extension with Avalanche

"Samuel has been one of our best all-around defensemen since joining the Avalanche," Colorado general manager Joe Sakic said. "He plays important minutes and is someone our coaches count on to play against other teams' top lines. He has an exceptional ability to skate and move the puck. As a member of our core, we felt it was important to sign him to a long-term deal and we are excited to announce this extension."

Colorado this offseason traded defenseman Tyson Barrie to the Toronto Maple Leafs for center Nazem Kadri, and added forward Andre Burakovsky in a trade with the Washington Capitals.

"You always like to be better every year," Girard said. "... I think my defensive game is getting better as well, and my offensive game as well, and I'm going to have to keep going that way every year. I'm very excited for next season, Joe made some good trades this summer, and I think we're going to have a good team for next season and the next couple years."

Selected by Nashville in the second round (No. 47) of the 2016 NHL Draft, Girard has 50 points (eight goals, 42 assists) in 155 regular-season games and two assists in 12 playoff games.

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