The Colorado Avalanche announced Tuesday that they have signed newly acquired defenseman Devon Toews to a four-year contract, thus avoiding arbitration.
Per CapFriendly, the contract carries a $4.1 million average annual value. In all, it’s a $16.4 million contract for the standout blueliner.
Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic acquired Toews from the New York Islanders earlier this month in exchange for second-round draft picks in 2021 and 2022. The Islanders had to clear salary cap space as they try to work on new deals with star forward Mathew Barzal and defenseman Ryan Pulock.
With Toews now in the fold, the Avalanche boast arguably the top defensive group in the NHL. Led by 2019-20 Calder Trophy winner Cale Makar, another young star in Samuel Girard and veterans Erik Johnson and Ian Cole.
For the second year in a row, the Avalanche were eliminated in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals, this time to the Dallas Stars in overtime.
Sakic managed to retain all of his key players from last season. Aside from Toews, Colorado also landed two-time Stanley Cup champion Brandon Saad in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks. Saad is a five-time 20-goal scorer who’s also registered 18 and 19-goal seasons.
The 26-year-old Toews was drafted in the fourth round, 108th overall, by the Islanders in 2014. He scored five goals and 18 points in his rookie 2018-19 season. He followed it up with six goals and 28 points in 68 regular season games in 2019-20.
Toews was even better in the postseason, helping the Islanders reach the Eastern Conference Final, where they fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games. Toews had two goals and eight assists in 22 playoff games.
But again, the Islanders had to clear out cap space, and Toews became expendable. He should flourish on a Colorado team loaded with star power, one that should be among the top Stanley Cup contenders for many years to come.
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