The Anaheim Ducks have locked up a key defenseman for a long time, inking Cam Fowler to an eight-year extension worth $52MM ($6.5MM AAV). The deal will kick in for the 2018-19 season, after Fowler finishes the last year on his current contract.
Despite strong point totals every year since he broke into the league, many considered this year as a sort of breakout for the 25-year old defenseman. Instead of being sheltered in an offensive role, Fowler easily logged the most minutes on the team and was a rock in all situations. Not necessarily considered a possession darling, he took steps forward in basically every metric and was all over the ice for the Ducks.
Though the contract is a huge one, the fact that Fowler is still relatively young is a big factor. He’ll only be 34 when it ends and hopefully will have not fallen off a cliff production wise. Right now, the $6.5MM cap hit comes in 17th among defenders for the 2018-19 season, which obviously could be knocked down even further if other players re-sign between now and then. That means he’ll be expected to perform like a #1 defenseman, but not an elite one. If his game takes another step forward he could provide excellent value for the salary in the first half of the deal.