The Nashville Predators have agreed to a new three-year, $9.25 million contract with star winger Patric Hornqvist, who led the team with 30 goals last season. Aftonbladet.se (try the Google Translater) posted the story this morning, and a Predators spokesman has confirmed it.
The deal will pay him $3 million in 2010-11 and 2011-12, and $3.25 million in 2012-13. The good news is that he will still be a restricted free agent in the summer of 2013 at the conclusion of this deal. Edit: Initially I had word that he would be unrestricted, but that was incorrect)
There is always the risk, of course, that one standout season doesn't get followed up with long standing performance. After looking under the hood, however, I'm confident that there's still quite a bit of upside to tap into here. Might Hornqvist score 50 goals in a season sometime soon? It's certainly possible.
Cody Franson remains the lone Nashville restricted free agent without a contract.
The Predators' press release follows after the jump...
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed forward Patric Hornqvist to a three-year, $9.25 million contract.
Hornqvist, 23 (1/1/87), became the first Nashville draft pick to score 30 goals for the club, leading the team and registering the fourth highest total in franchise history in the category in 2009-10. The Sollentuna, Sweden native tied a franchise record and tied for second in the NHL in game-winning goals (8) last season and also led the club in power-play goals (10). In 2009-10, he also tied for the team lead in points (30g-21a-51pts) and set a franchise record for shots in a season (275).
Hornqvist experienced a 28-goal increase from 2008-09, making him just the second player in the last nine seasons to experience such an increase (minimum 20 games in the first season). The 5-11, 186-pound forward had the fewest NHL games experience (108) and the lowest average ice time (15:41) among the NHL's Top-20 goal scorers in 2009-10. He posted five multi-goal games, tied for the third-highest single-season total in franchise history and paced all Nashville skaters in plus/minus rating (+18).
Nashville's seventh choice, 230th overall (seventh round), in the 2005 Entry Draft, Hornqvist is the ninth of 43 players selected with the final pick of an entry draft (modern era, since 1969) to go on to play in the NHL. He is one of only three players picked last overall to play at least 100 NHL games and score at least 20 goals. Hornqvist also skated in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, playing in all four games for his native Sweden.
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