San Jose extends Vlasic: five years, $21 million

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The San Jose Sharks have agreed to a five-year contract extension with defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

According to reports, the deal is worth $21 million — an average annual cap hit of $4.2 million.

Vlasic, 25, has spent his entire six-year career in San Jose, emerging as a solid top-four defenseman that rarely misses games.

Aside from a lower-body injury that cost him 17 contests during the 2009-10 season, Vlasic has played in at least 80 games every year, including all 82 during the 2011-12 campaign.

Last year, Vlasic was second on the Sharks in ice time with 23:09 per game, scoring four goals while adding 19 assists for 23 points.

Extending Vlasic is a savvy move by Sharks GM Doug Wilson. This year’s UFA market showed a noted price increase for top-four defensemen (see: Dennis Wideman and Jason Garrison) and by locking Vlasic up, the Sharks avoid him going unrestricted next summer.

Vlasic is heading into the final season of a four-year, $12.4 million deal that pays $3.1 million annually.