TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Nikita Kucherov to an eight-year contract extension worth an average of $9.5 million in salary and annual bonuses.
The team announced the deal Tuesday. The 25-year-old would have been a restricted free agent next summer with one year left on a deal that will pay him nearly $4.8 million for the 2018-19 season. Now he is set to stay with the Lightning through the 2026-27 as the team's highest-paid player once the extension kicks in after next year.
"I'm truly grateful to sign this contract extension to keep me in Tampa for another eight seasons," Kucherov said in a statement. "I'd like to thank the Lightning organization and all of the fans for the support since making the Bay Area my home."