Capitals sign Tom Wilson to 7-year, $45.5 million extension

Tom Wilson's best goals from the 2022-23 NHL season (1:46)

Fresh off a seven-year extension with the Capitals, check out Tom Wilson's best goals from the 2022-23 NHL season. (1:46)

Tom Wilson is staying with the Washington Capitals for the long term after getting a new contract that could keep the homegrown power forward with the team for his entire NHL career.

Wilson signed a seven-year extension worth $45.5 million on Friday, a deal that keeps him from hitting free agency next summer. Instead, he will count $6.5 million against the salary cap from the time the new contract kicks in for the 2024-25 season through 2030-31.

"Tom possesses all the intangibles needed to win in this league, and we are extremely pleased to sign him to a long-term contract, giving him the opportunity to finish his career in a Capitals uniform," general manager Brian MacLellan said in a statement. "Throughout his career, Tom has improved every facet of his game through his drive and competitiveness. We feel his work ethic and leadership qualities will be a tremendous asset to our organization for years to come."

Wilson, who will be 30 when the new contract begins, has been an important part of the Capitals' core for a decade after they drafted him in the first round in 2012. He had 15 points in 21 games during their 2018 Stanley Cup run.

"Feeling extremely honored today as I get to sign an extension with the city that I've called home for the last 10 years," Wilson posted on social media. "Being a Capital means so much to me and I can't wait to continue to compete and leave it all out there with this team. Thanks to the Caps family for the support."

The deal makes Wilson the only player on the roster signed past 2030 -- three years longer than captain Alex Ovechkin. It also opens the door for the respected teammate and fan favorite to be the new face of the franchise and perhaps wear the "C" once Ovechkin, 37, retires.

Longtime teammate T.J. Oshie said jokingly that he would have given Wilson $10 million a year.

"Not many I've seen with the same amount of heart and love for his teammates and his organization and his fans," Oshie posted on social media. "This guy leaves everything on the ice every night, leads by example and protects his own. Earned his spot on the team from fighting and penalty killing and tough minutes to top line, power play and scoring big goals. I hope my son grows up to be a lot like Tom."

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Wilson is a rarity in modern hockey: a big, physical player who can also produce offensively. Wilson has 326 points in 763 regular-season and playoff games, including a career-best 52 in 2021-22 before tearing the ACL in his left knee in the first round.

The Toronto native is now more than a year removed from surgery and will be counted on to help Washington return to the playoffs after an eight-year streak ended last season. Wilson is playing the final year on his current contract worth just under $5.2 million annually.