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The Florida Panthers have signed captain Aleksander Barkov to an eight-year contract extension with a $10 million average annual value, according to a press release from the team. The new contract will include over $70 million in signing bonuses.

Barkov, 26, was in the final year of a six-year, $35.4 million deal that he signed back in 2016. The Panthers star center would’ve became an unrestricted free agent following the 2021-22 season. Barkov will make $7.75 million this season in the final year of the previous deal.

“Over his past eight years in South Florida, Sasha has demonstrated his leadership, character and elite playmaking ability, cementing himself as one of the best all-around players in hockey,” Panthers general manager Bill Zito said. “He has earned the respect of the hockey community through work ethic and a team-first attitude. Most importantly, he is a tremendous person, athlete and friend and we are thrilled to secure Sasha as our leader on and off the ice for the next eight years.”

The Panthers captain was originally selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft by the Panthers. Barkov is set to embark on his ninth professional season and is coming off a year in which he recorded 58 points (26 goals and 32 assists) in 50 games.

His best season came during the 2018-19 campaign in which he registered a career-high 96 points (35 goals and 61 assists). During his time with Florida, Barkov has compiled 465 career points (181 goals and 284 assists).

Barkov won the Selke Trophy last season, which is annually awarded to the top defensive forward in the NHL. In addition, he was named to Finland’s roster for the 2022 Beijing Olympics earlier in October.