One of Colorado’s key trade deadline acquisitions is set to stick around. As first reported by Peter Baugh of The Athletic (Twitter link), the Avalanche have agreed to terms on a new contract with defenseman Josh Manson. Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic reports (Twitter link) that it’s a four-year, $18MM contract which results in a $4.5MM AAV.
The 30-year-old was brought in from Anaheim just before the trade deadline in exchange for defenseman prospect Drew Helleson and a 2023 second-round pick in an effort to shore up the back of their defense corps. Manson was able to do just that, playing a key role in helping Colorado win the Stanley Cup last month and was ranked 16th in our Top 50 UFA list.
Last season, Manson played in 67 games between Anaheim and Colorado, picking up six goals and ten assists. While he had a 37-point season back in 2017-18, the 16 points he had in 2021-22 is closer to the typical production that he puts up which limited the upside of his market. However, he was still able to land a small raise from the $4.1MM he had on his last contract with another four-year commitment.
The Avalanche will have an impressive back end next season with Manson sticking with an impressive young core that features Cale Makar, Samuel Girard, and Bowen Byram that are all 24 or younger and Devon Toews who has emerged as a high-end defender in his own right since joining Colorado. With Erik Johnson still in the fold, that’s one of the stronger and deeper defense corps in the league which should give plenty of support to new starter Alexandar Georgiev.
With this agreement and the one given to Darren Helm earlier today, Colorado now has a little over $9MM in remaining cap space per CapFriendly with Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky both set to hit the open market in less than an hour. Barring a significant trade, it’s unlikely that either of them will re-sign with the bulk of their remaining camp room likely being earmarked for restricted free agent winger Artturi Lehkonen.
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