The Colorado Avalanche have just completed a very important piece of business, coming to terms on a deal with young defenseman Ryan Graves, one of just 3 restricted free agents that the Avalanche had remaining in this offseason.
Graves, who was coming off a 1 year deal worth $650,000, has earned himself a significant upgrade in terms of both term and money on this new deal. Graves will earn nearly 5 times as much with an average annual value of $3,166,667 over the length of this deal, and he will have a decent amount of job security as well given that his new deal will be a 3 year contract.
The signing of this deal is no doubt one of the biggest moments in the life of the 25 year old defenseman who took a giant leap forward this season in terms of his development. After playing just 26 games for the Avalanche last season Graves made a whopping 69 appearances in the shortened NHL season this time around, picking up 9 goals and adding 17 assists for a combined total of 26 points. He was in the penalty box considerably more often with 45 penalty minutes to his name but also finished the season with an impressive plus minus rating of +40.
Having now signed Graves to a new deal, Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic has Tyson Jost and Vladislav Kamenev, both forwards, remaining to sign as restricted free agents.