The Colorado Avalanche have re-signed defenseman Cale Makar to a six-year, $54 million contract extension.
The Avalanche announced the deal with the restricted free agent on Saturday, with Makar's agents disclosing the contract's value.
Makar, 22, is one of the NHL's premier young defensemen. The Calder Trophy winner as rookie of the year in 2019-20 and a Norris Trophy finalist for best defenseman last season, Makar has 20 goals and 74 assists in 101 career games, with a plus-29 rating.
Makar's $9 million average annual value against the salary cap is the second highest on the Avalanche, behind winger Mikko Rantanen's $9.25 million AAV on a six-year deal signed in 2019. At the moment, it's tied for the fourth-highest cap hit for a defenseman in 2021-22 behind Erik Karlsson of San Jose ($11.5 million), Drew Doughty of Los Angeles ($11 million) and Roman Josi of Nashville ($9.059 million). It matches P.K. Subban of New Jersey ($9 million). All four of those defensemen are over the age of 30.
Makar's signing comes in the same week that Dallas Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen, 21, signed an eight-year contract with an AAV of $8.45 million. Makar's contract comes one day after Seth Jones agreed to an eight-year contract with a $9.5 million AAV beginning in 2022-23 with the Chicago Blackhawks, who acquired him in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Makar will make $8 million in 2021-22 then $9 million in Year 2 and $11 million in Year 3 before a drop to $10.6 million in Year 4, $8.7 million in 2025-26 and $6.7 million in the final year of the contract. His agents at Bartlett Hockey indicated the structure was based on escrow dropping each year of the contract and the potential end of the collective bargaining agreement before the final year of the deal.