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Brayden Point officially extended by Lightning

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As we all knew. Pointer was here to stay.

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Originally mentioned in Elliotte Friedman’s blog on Sportsnet, and echoed by Joe Smith, Erik Erlendsson, Pierre LeBrun, and Kevin Weekes, the Lightning appear close to locking up star forward Brayden Point to a contract extension amid the zaniness of NHL free agency. This lines up with Tampa Bay’s modus operandi of locking up core players when they’re a year out from their contract expirations (Steven Stamkos excluded).

Given Point’s impact and resume, a contract near Nikita Kucherov or Andrei Vasilevskiy’s would be my best guess. That being 8 years, around 9 million dollars annual average. Overall, the 25-year old center has played 351 NHL games, all with the Lightning, and scored 310 points. His postseason resume is even more impressive with 67 games played and 73 points.

Point grades as one of the best forwards in the league utilizing any public analytical model, but in this instance, we’re using JFresh’s visualizations with TopDownHockey’s data (if you don’t follow or subscribe to their Patreon or Tableau you’re missing out on some fantastic work.)

2020-2021 Brayden Point Player Card
JFreshHockey, @JFreshHockey, https://www.patreon.com/jfreshhockey/posts

UPDATE 3:35pm:

Brayden Point officially signs an 8-year 76-million dollar contract extension with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Here’s the press release from the Lightning.

LIGHTNING SIGN FORWARD BRAYDEN POINT TO EIGHT-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Brayden Point to an eight-year contract extension starting with the 2022-23 season worth an AAV of $9.5 million, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today.

Point, 25, has skated in 351 career NHL games, all with the Lightning over the past five seasons, recording 139 goals and 310 points to go along with a plus-79 rating and 88 penalty minutes. The Calgary, Alberta native played in 56 games for the Bolts last season, leading the team for points (48) and goals (23). He also ranked tied for first on the Bolts with six game-winning tallies, which ranked tied for 13th in the NHL. Point scored six goals on the man-advantage, ranking third on the team in that category.

During the Lightning’s 2021 Stanley Cup Playoff run, Point led the NHL with 14 goals and ranked second behind teammate Nikita Kucherov for points with 23. The back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion also led all playoff scorers with seven power-play tallies and was tied for first with three game-winning goals. During the Lightning’s 2020 Stanley Cup run, Point also led all league scorers for goals with 14 and was second for points with 33. In 67 career postseason games, Point has amassed 36 goals and 73 points. He ranks tied for third all-time on the Lightning’s playoff scoring list.

“Brayden is a key contributor to the Lightning’s success and one of the most dynamic players in the NHL. To be able to agree to terms with him on a long-term contract is great news for our organization going forward,” BriseBois said. “Not only is Brayden a skilled player, he is also a fierce competitor who fits in well with the pedigree of our team. Our organization looks forward to having him be a big part of this team for many years to come.”

The 5-foot-10, 183-pound forward has ranked in the top three in scoring for the Lightning in each of the past four seasons, including posting a career-high 92 points (41 goals, 51 assists) during the 2018-19 season. Point led the NHL for power-play goals with 20 during the 2018-19 season and was tied for sixth for goals with 41. He represented the Lightning at the 2018 NHL All-Star Game in Tampa and finished second behind Connor McDavid in the fastest skater competition.

“I’m very excited to stay in Tampa for another nine years,” Point said. “I want to thank the entire Lightning organization for this and say thanks to our fans. Since being drafted by Tampa, I’ve always felt like Tampa has been home and the fans have played a huge role in making my time in Tampa so wonderful.”

Point was originally drafted by the Lightning in the third round, 79th overall, at the 2014 NHL Draft.

This gives Tampa Bay three players making 9.5M AAV against the salary cap starting in the 2022-2023 season (Kucherov, Vasilevskiy, Point).