Ross Colton signs a long-term deal
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Ross Colton signs a long-term deal

The former Lightning forward locks in.



This just in, the Colorado Avalanche have signed restricted free agent forward Ross Colton to a four year contract worth $4 million annually.

Colton was acquired by the Avalanche from the Tampa Bay Lightning just prior to the 2023 NHL Draft last month.

More from the Avs' official press release announcement:

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed restricted free agent forward Ross Colton to a four-year contract through the 2026-27 season. Colton was acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a second-round selection (37th overall, previously acquired from Montreal) in the 2023 NHL Draft on June 28, 2023.

Colton, 26, collected 32 points (16g/16a) in 81 games with Tampa Bay this past season. Selected by the Lightning in the fourth round (118th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft, Colton has totaled 83 points (47g/36a) in 190 career NHL games, all with Tampa. The 6-foot, 194-pound center has added 19 points (10g/9a) in 52 career postseason contests. Colton helped the Lightning capture the Stanley Cup in 2021, scoring the Cup-clinching, game-winning goal in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against Montreal.

"Ross is a hard-working, two-way center with a championship pedigree," said Avalanche General Manager Chris MacFarland at the time of the trade. "He has physicality to his game, is ultra competitive and his versatility will make him a valuable addition to our lineup in a lot of ways."

Colton registered a career-high 22 goals during the 2021-22 campaign, becoming the ninth player in Tampa Bay history to score 20 goals in his first or second NHL season. He finished second among Lightning forwards in hits (153) and ranked second on the team in face-off win percentage (52.2%).

The Robbinsville, New Jersey, native played in 131 career American Hockey League games with the Syracuse Crunch from 2018-21, producing 76 points (26g/50a) while adding one goal in four Calder Cup Playoff contests.

Prior to turning pro, Colton appeared in 69 career NCAA games with the University of Vermont from 2016-18, posting 50 points (28g/22a). As a freshman in 2016-17, he tied for first on the team in goals (12) and earned a selection to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team. Colton played two seasons in the USHL with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders from 2014-16, recording 99 points (53g/46a) in 113 career games and serving as team captain in 2015-16.

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Source: Colorado Avalanche