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Karlsson signs one-year contract with Golden Knights

Restricted free agent center will earn $5.25 million, avoids arbitration hearing @NHLdotcom

William Karlsson signed a one-year, $5.25 million contract with the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday, avoiding an arbitration hearing.

The 25-year-old center scored an NHL career-high 43 goals (third in the NHL) last season and finished with 78 points in 82 regular-season games. Entering 2017-18, he had scored 18 goals in 183 NHL games and never had more than nine in a season.


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Karlsson, whose arbitration hearing was scheduled for Saturday, can become a restricted free agent July 1, 2019.

"This is a fair deal and I'm glad it's done," Karlsson told the Golden Knights website. "It's a relief and now we can focus on the season ahead.

"... I love playing in Vegas. I couldn't imagine playing anywhere else. I'm hoping we can work out a long-term deal and I'll be here for my whole career."

Selected by Vegas from the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, Karlsson led the NHL last season with a plus-49 rating, scored eight power-play goals, four shorthanded goals and six game-winning goals, and won the Lady Byng Trophy, awarded for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct.

Video: William Karlsson signs one-year extension with Vegas

Karlsson had 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 20 Stanley Cup Playoff games and helped the expansion Golden Knights reach the Stanley Cup Final, which they lost to the Washington Capitals in five games.

"William had a great year for us and we are excited to now have him under contract for next season," Vegas general manager George McPhee said.

The Anaheim Ducks selected Karlsson in the second round (No. 53) of the 2011 NHL Draft. He has 128 points (61 goals, 67 assists) in 265 NHL games and 18 points (nine goals, nine assists) in 25 playoff games.

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