Logan O’Connor’s ice time has slowly gone up the last couple of seasons and he has been rewarded for his improvement as the Avalanche announced that they’ve signed the winger to a three-year contract extension. Peter Baugh of The Athletic adds (Twitter link) that the deal carries a $1.05MM AAV. GM Joe Sakic released the following statement:
Logan is a high-energy player who works hard, competes and brings grit and depth to our lineup. He is a strong skater and penalty killer and has continued to improve his game every year as a professional.
O’Connor was frequently shuffled back and forth to and from the taxi squad last season while also dealing with a lower-body injury but still got into a career-best 22 games with Colorado last season where he picked up three goals and two assists in just under 11 minutes a game in playing time. He also saw action in a pair of playoff contests where he was held off the scoresheet. To this point in his career, the 25-year-old has primarily been used in a checking role over his 43 total NHL appearances but with the departures of Joonas Donskoi and Brandon Saad this summer, there will be an opportunity for O’Connor to have a bigger role on the depth chart.
The fact that Colorado has handed him this deal now suggests that they expect O’Connor to be more of a regular player this coming season and have opted to sign him now over potentially needing to pay him more had they waited until next offseason. Either way, O’Connor picks up a nice raise as he is scheduled to make the league minimum of $750K in salary in 2021-22 while actually carrying a cap hit below that price tag at $725K.