Mikko Rantanen agrees to six-year, $55.5M contract with Avalanche


Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen. (David Zalubowski/AP)

The Colorado Avalanche and restricted free agent Mikko Rantanen have agreed to a new six-year contract that will carry an average annual value of $9.25 million.

“Signing Mikko to a long-term deal has been a priority, and we are excited to have him under contract for the next six years,” Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said in a statement. “Mikko has established himself as one of the premier young wingers in the NHL and is a big part of our core group. We look forward to having him back with the team as we get ready to start the season.”

Rantanen, 22, is coming off a career year after recording 31 goals and 56 assists in 74 regular-season games for the Avalanche last season.

Originally a first-round pick (10th overall) by the Avalanche in 2015, Rantanen was the right wing on one of the top lines in the NHL last season, with Nathan MacKinnon at centre and Gabriel Landeskog on the left side.

September saw an unprecedented amount of star restricted free agents miss parts of training camp as contract talks continued. But with Rantanen agreeing to a deal, Winnipeg’s Kyle Connor and Edmonton’s Jesse Puljujarvi remain the last unsigned restricted free agents in the NHL.

Rantanen was training with friend (and fellow RFA) Patrik Laine in Switzerland, but Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reported Friday — after Laine signed a new deal with the Jets — that Rantanen was traveling back to Helsinki, suggesting a new contract could be close.

The Avalanche open the season on Oct. 3 at home against the Calgary Flames.

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