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Oilers sign defenseman Evan Bouchard to 2-year, $7.8 million contract

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Edmonton Oilers have re-signed defenseman Evan Bouchard to a two-year contract worth $7.8 million.

Bouchard will count $3.9 million against the salary cap each of the next two seasons. The team announced the signing of the restricted free agent Thursday.

The 23-year-old was one of the few remaining RFAs left without a contract late in the NHL offseason. Bouchard had eight goals and 32 assists in 82 games for the Oilers last season and followed that up with four goals and 13 assists in the playoffs.

His 17 points led all defensemen in the playoffs despite the Oilers exiting in the second round.

Bouchard, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound right-handed shot from Oakville Ontario, is set to again quarterback Edmonton’s power play in a season that begins in October with Stanley Cup expectations.

Bouchard first got that role and his production significantly increased when the Oilers traded Tyson Barrie at the deadline as part of the deal that got them defensive defenseman Mattias Ekholm.

The Oilers selected Bouchard 10th overall in the 2018 NHL draft. He has since produced 23 goals and 66 assists in 184 regular-season games.

Bouchard’s new contract kicks in right away and expires after the 2024-25 season, at which point he would again be a restricted free agent.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL