Tuesday, May 2, 2017

{allcanada} Maple Leafs sign Nikita Zaitsev to long-term extension; Ben Smith inked


The Toronto Maple Leafs signed defenceman Nikita Zaitsev to a seven-year contract extension, the team announced Tuesday.

Zaitsev just completed his rookie season after signing a one-year, entry-level deal with the Maple Leafs in May 2016. His expiring deal paid him $925,000 against the salary cap, but his new deal will pay him an average of $4.5 million per season.

The 25-year-old had 36 points in 82 games and played in four of the team's six playoff games. Prior to joining the Leafs, Zaitsev spent seven seasons in Russia with Novosibirsk Sibir and most recently CSKA Moscow. He was never drafted into the NHL.

The team also announced they signed forward Ben Smith to a one-year contract worth $650,000.

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