WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- The Winnipeg Jets agreed to terms on a $42 million, seven-year contract extension with forward Nikolaj Ehlers on Wednesday.
The extension begins a year from now and carries an average annual value of $6 million, the Jets said in a statement.
"This team, this organization, this city ... from Day 1 I was happy here," Ehlers said before the Jets opened their season against the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.
"It's amazing playing in front of all these fans. Winnipeg as a city is amazing, they love their hockey, so I could not see any reason to not want to stay here long term."
The 21-year-old Ehlers had 64 points (25 goals, 39 assists) in 82 games for the Jets last season.
"He can play both wings, he can play with different centers, he's made a huge jump from the end of last year," Jets coach Paul Maurice said.
The 6-foot 172-pound native of Aalborg, Denmark, had 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists) in his rookie season.
Ehlers, the ninth overall pick in the 2014 draft, is a key part of the Jets' young core with Calder Trophy runner-up Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele.
"As Nik's linemate and good buddy, it's awesome to see a nice guy like that get rewarded," Laine said. "Nik's going to be a leader for this team for many years."
Winnipeg missed the playoffs last season after finishing fifth in the Central Division with 87 points.