Tampa Bay Lightning lock down Nikita Kucherov for eight years

Posted at 10:25 AM, Jul 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-10 17:18:25-04

TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Nikita Kucherov for eight years in the most expensive per year contract in franchise history.

The deal is worth an average of $9.5 million per year and keeps Kuch with the Bolts through the 2026-27 season.

"I'm truly grateful to sign this contract extension to keep me in Tampa for the next eight seasons today," Kucherov said. "I'd like to thank the Lightning organization and all of the fans for the support since making the Bay Area my home."

Kucherov tore up the league last season, recording 39 goals and 100 points, including seven game-winners. He was third in the NHL in points and led the Lightning in most offensive categories.

The 25-year-old has played his whole career with Tampa Bay since being drafted in 2011 and ranks second in the NHL in points since the start of 2016.