San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has signed defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic
to a four-year contract extension. Combined with the one year left on his original contract, Vlasic is now locked up for five seasons. The deal is reported to be for an average around $3 million per year.
“Marc-Edouard is one of the top young defenseman in the game and we are excited to have him in the fold for the next several years,” said Wilson. “He has a tremendous future with this franchise and we look forward to watching his continued development.”
Vlasic played in all 82 games for the Sharks in 2007-08, notching 14 points (2-12=14) and 24 penalty minutes. The second year defenseman ranked third on the team in blocked shots (85) and average ice time (21:36).
Wilson feels that Vlasic’s offensive ability is just beginning to round into form.
“He can play in all situations and we think he’ll only get better with the players we’ve brought in this summer,” said Wilson. “His defense is as good and any young player in the game and he will evolve a lot more offensively as he goes forward.”
Vlasic has seen more than enough in his two years in San Jose to know he wants to be here long-term.
“We could have done two, three or four years and I felt comfortable with the longer term,” said Vlasic. “I liked it here my first two years and wanted to settle in. I’ve got the next five years and am not worried where I’m going. I like the team and the area. Playing here is nice and hopefully we’ll get to win the Cup.”
Vlasic also like the veterans blueliners in Dan Boyle
, Rob Blake and Brad Lukowich who were brought in strengthen the club and provide some mentors for the still 21-year-old Montreal native.
“They brought in guys who can help me and help the team,” said Vlasic. “It’s nice to have a guy like Blake who I watched as a kid. I watched him win a Cup in Colorado and he was the guy crunching everybody. Thank God he’s on our team now.”
In 2006-07, Vlasic posted 26 points (3-23=26) in 81 games during his rookie campaign, in which he was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie Team. His 23 assists were tied for seventh among all NHL rookies and also placed him sixth on the Sharks all-time single season list for rookies. His +14 plus/minus rating finished third on the team (first among all blueliners), fourth among all NHL rookies and second all-time for a Sharks rookie. Vlasic averaged 22:11 in ice time per game, over 1½ minutes more than any other NHL rookie and second overall on the Sharks.
Vlasic, who became the youngest Sharks defenseman to make the team out of training camp since Brad Stuart in 1999-00, was voted by Bay Area media as the PlayStation “Sharks Rookie of the Year”. His 132 blocked shots were second among all NHL rookies and second on the team.
The six-foot-one, 195-pound native of Montreal, Quebec was originally selected by San Jose in the second round (35th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.