The Colorado Avalanche on Thursday signed center Matt Duchene to a five-year contract extension. The deal is said to be worth $30 million over the five years.

“Matt already is and will be a big part of our team’s nucleus for the long term,” Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic said. “We all felt that it was important for us to secure his rights for several seasons. With his great skills, speed and character, he represents the identity we want the Avalanche to be.”

Duchene, 22, was second on the Avalanche with 17 goals and 43 points last season. In four seasons since being selected with the third pick of the 2009 NHL Draft, Duchene has 82 goals and 193 points in 266 games.


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