The San Jose Sharks continued their “tomorrow team” theme on Wednesday, committing long-term to one of their best young defensemen, Justin Braun.
The deal is worth $19 million over five years, good for a $3.8M average annual cap hit.
Braun, 27, had a breakout campaign in 2013-14, posting highs in goals (four) and points (17) while appearing in all 82 games and averaging over 20 minutes per night for the first time in his career.
“Justin has emerged as one of our most well-rounded and dependable defensemen,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson said in a statement. “He’s an excellent skater who excels in matching up against the opponents top players on a nightly basis and fits in well with our core group of younger players.
“We feel Justin has just scratched the surface of his talent and we are excited to have him under contract for the next six seasons.”
Braun, a former seventh-round pick who has spent the last four years with the Sharks, has one year remaining on his current deal — a three-year, $3.75 million pact — meaning his extension won’t kick in until next season, and will expire in 2020. Braun, along with Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic, is now clearly part of San Jose’s defensive core moving forward, and it’s worth noting all three are under contract for at least the next three seasons.