Canucks sign ‘extremely important’ Tanev to five-year extension

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The Vancouver Canucks have locked up one of their key young pieces through 2020-21, signing 25-year-old defenseman Chris Tanev to a five-year contract extension.

“Chris has developed into an excellent NHL defenseman and is an extremely important part of our team,” said GM Jim Benning in a release. “He’s a player you want on the ice in the most critical points of a game and we’re excited about having him with our group as we continue to play to win today, with an eye to the future.”

Tanev’s cap hit is reportedly $4.45 million, just slightly lower than teammates Dan Hamhuis ($4.5 million), Kevin Bieksa ($4.6 million), and Alex Edler ($5 million).

Undrafted, Tanev originally signed with the Canucks in 2010 as a college free agent. He’s since played 216 games in the NHL, scoring 10 goals with 33 assists, while being deployed in a predominantly defensive role.

This season, Tanev has skated with Edler on the Canucks’ top pairing. He also averages a team-high 2:46 on Vancouver’s third-ranked penalty kill.