Colorado Avalanche sign winger Mikko Rantanen to 6-year, $55.5M deal

The Colorado Avalanche signed top line winger Mikko Rantanen to a six-year, $55.5 million deal Saturday, taking another big-name restricted free agent off the board.

Rantanen's deal runs through the 2024-25 season and carries an average annual value of $9.25 million, though the salaries per year fluctuate -- including $12 million in each of the first two years and $6 million in the final year.

The Finn is coming off a career season in which he set new highs in goals (31), assists (56) and points (87) on Colorado's ultra-productive top line alongside Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog.

The deal also means that Colorado has Rantanen and MacKinnon signed for a combined $15.55 million against the salary cap for the next four seasons, which amounts to 19% of the current cap, a bargain for two elite offensive talents.

The deal was announced one day after Patrik Laine ended his contract stalemate with the Winnipeg Jets with a two-year bridge deal for $13.5 million total. Rantanen had been training in Switzerland with Laine, his good friend. Once Laine signed, the two players flew back to Helsinki together, and Rantanen's deal got done shortly after.

Other notable restricted free agents who also inked their deals during training camp: Toronto's Mitch Marner (six years, $65.3 million), Tampa Bay's Brayden Point (three years, $20.25 million), Boston's Charlie McAvoy (three years, $14.7 million), Vancouver's Brock Boeser (three years, $17.625 million) and Calgary's Matthew Tkachuk (three years, $21 million).

Winnipeg's Kyle Connor and Edmonton's Jesse Puljujarvi remain the only two restricted free agents who have yet to sign deals.

Rantanen was Colorado's first-round pick (No. 10 overall) in 2015.

Colorado opens its season Thursday, hosting the Calgary Flames.