Nashville Predators Sign Ryan Johansen to Extension

The Nashville Predators are keeping star center Ryan Johansen around long-term, signing the restricted free agent to an eight year deal.

Back in January of 2016, the Nashville Predators made the biggest trade in franchise history. They shipped young defenseman Seth Jones to the Columbus Blue Jackets in order to acquire center Ryan Johansen. Looking back at the Predators’ history, the one thing they consistently lacked was a top center. Johansen gave them one.

The Predators are making sure to keep their franchise center around, inking him to an eight-year extension worth $8 million per season.

This comes not too long after Johansen suffered a significant lower body injury, stemming from acute compartment syndrome. However, he has gotten surgery to fix the issue and isn’t expected to miss any time. Johansen is preparing to get ready for training camp.

Since joining the Predators, he has 95 points in 124 regular season games, including 22 goals and 73 assists. Johansen has averaged 18:28 of ice time per game since coming to Nashville. In the playoffs, he has seven goals and 21 points in 28 postseason games. Johansen played a large role in helping the Predators make their first ever Stanley Cup Finals appearance with 13 points in 14 games before suffering his injury against the Anaheim Ducks.

Nashville had to pay a very steep price to get Johansen, and rightfully so. However, he has been worth it for them. For the first time in franchise history, the Predators have a top center who can take on tough competition and come out on top.

Not only has Johansen been productive at even strength, averaging 1.62 points per 60 minutes at even strength last season, he’s also been outstanding possession wise. His 7.0 percent relative even strength CorsiFor percentage was among the NHL leaders and a team high.

Credit general manager David Poile for getting this deal done. Yes, he had to overpay just a bit. But because Poile has gotten such great value out of his previous extensions, he could afford to pay a premium to keep Johansen.