Mikael Granlund. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Center Mikael Granlund, 22, has signed a two-year, $6-million extension with the Minnesota Wild.
The Minnesota Wild locked up one of their key restricted free agents Wednesday just as the noon window opened up for unrestricted free agency.
Center Mikael Granlund, 23, has signed a two-year, $6-million extension, per ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.
It's a clear bridge deal for a player who has an extremely bright future but didn't break out quite as expected in 2014-15. Granlund had 39 points in 63 games in 2013-14, with a strong playoff showing, but slipped to 39 points in 68 games this season. The bridge contract gives the young Finn a chance to "prove it" and continue growing into the team's No. 1 pivot. That role still belongs to Mikko Koivu, at least in terms of total ice time, but Granlund's offensive ceiling is far higher, so he's expected to assume that mantle soon enough.
A fair and logical deal for both sides, though GM Chuck Fletcher has to expect Granlund will command far more on his next contract.