The Ducks have locked up a key defender as Josh Manson has inked a four-year extension, the blueliner announced via the team’s Twitter account. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports (Twitter link) that the contract will carry a cap hit of $4.1MM. The deal will begin in the 2018-19 campaign; he will earn $825K this season and would have been a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in July.
Manson has been with Anaheim since they drafted him in the sixth round (160th overall) back in 2011. Last season, he played in all 82 games with the Ducks, tallying a career-high 17 points (5-12-17) while averaging 18:38 of ice time per night. He also suited up in 17 postseason contests, posting three assists while seeing his ATOI increase to 20:33 per game.
With injuries to Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm to start the season, the Ducks will be asking Manson to take on a bigger role for the time being before settling into a fourth or fifth defender role once those two return to the lineup.
This contract now has Anaheim’s core of blueliners (including Vatanen, Lindholm, and Cam Fowler) locked up through at least the 2019-20 season. However, with now just 13 players under contract for 2018-19, GM Bob Murray will still have a lot of work to do and not a lot of money as they already have more than $60MM committed for next season. Most of their players with expiring contracts are slated to become unrestricted free agents but winger Nick Ritchie is another notable RFA who could be an extension candidate in the weeks to come.
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