The Washington Capitals have come to terms with restricted free agent defenseman John Carlson, signing him to a six-year extension worth $23.8 million.
“I love Washington, I love being here," Carlson said late last month. "I like my teammates, I like the rink, I like the fans. I can’t imagine playing anywhere else.”
In his second full season, Carlson finished with nine goals and 32 points, but struggled defensively throughout the regular season. The 22-year-old was just one of six defensemen to be on the ice for more than 100 goals against and his minus-15 rating and 92 giveaways were both team lows. At one point, his sophomore season slump prompted a split from long-time defensive partner Karl Alzner in an attempt to take away the pressure of facing the opposition's biggest threats on a regular basis.
Carlson, however, rebounded in the postseason, leading Washington's defensive corps in points (five), hits (30) and blocked shots (38) as well as leading the entire team in shifts per game (32.2).
Carlson will earn $3.8 million in the first year of the deal and $4 million per year throughout the rest of the contract.
“John is a talented young defenseman who has played very well for the Capitals and still has room to grow,” General Manager George McPhee said in a statement. “He wanted to make a long term commitment to the team and we are delighted that this young man who is an important part of our future will be a member of the club for many years to come.”
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