Financial terms were not disclosed, but ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun reported the deal was worth $73 million.
"Henrik is one of the world's premier players at both ends of the ice," general manager Ken Holland said Wednesday. "This is a tremendous commitment on the part of the organization as well as by Henrik."
"We are thrilled that a player we drafted and developed will play out his career in Detroit with this lifetime contract," he said.
Zetterberg, a 28-year-old native of Sweden, is in his sixth NHL season, all with Detroit. He has 43 points in 45 games this season.
Zetterberg, a seventh-round selection in the 1999 draft, won a gold medal at the 2006 Olympics playing for the Swedish national team and scored the clinching goal in Game 6 of last year's Stanley Cup finals, leading the Red Wings over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.