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Capitals sign power forward Tom Wilson to 7-year, $45.5M US contract extension

Tom Wilson is staying with the Washington Capitals for the long term after getting a new contract that could keep the homegrown power forward with the team for his entire NHL career.

Wilson signed a seven-year extension worth $45.5 million US on Friday, a deal that keeps him from hitting free agency next summer. Instead, he will count $6.5 million against the salary cap from the time the new contract kicks in for the 2024-25 season through 2031.

“Tom possesses all the intangibles needed to win in this league, and we are extremely pleased to sign him to a long-term contract — giving him the opportunity to finish his career in a Capitals uniform,” general manager Brian MacLellan said. “Throughout his career, Tom has improved every facet of his game through his drive and competitiveness. We feel his work ethic and leadership qualities will be a tremendous asset to our organization for years to come.”

Wilson, who will be 30 when the new contract begins, has been an important part of the Capitals’ core for a decade after they drafted him in the first round in 2012. He had 15 points in 21 games on their 2018 Stanley Cup run.

“Feeling extremely honoured today as I get to sign an extension with the city that I’ve called home for the last 10 years,” Wilson posted on social media. “[Playing for the Capitals] means so much to me and I can’t wait to continue to compete and leave it all out there with this team. Thanks to the Caps family for the support.”

The deal makes Wilson the only player on the roster signed past 2030 — three years longer than captain Alex Ovechkin. It also opens the door for the respected teammate and fan favourite to be the new face of the franchise and perhaps wear the “C” once Ovechkin retires.

Longtime teammate T.J. Oshie joked he would have given Wilson $10 million a year.

“Not many I’ve seen with the same amount of heart and love for his teammates and his organization and his fans,” Oshie posted on social media. “This guy leaves everything on the ice every night, leads by example and protects his own. Earned his spot on the team from fighting and penalty killing and tough minutes to top line, power play and scoring big goals. I hope my son grows up to be a lot like Tom.”

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound winger is a rarity in modern hockey: a big, physical player who can also produce offensively. Wilson has 326 points in 763 regular-season and playoff games, including a career-best 52 in 2021-22 before tearing the ACL in his left knee in the first round.

The Toronto native is now more than a year removed from surgery and will be counted on to help Washington return to the playoffs after an eight-year streak ended last season. Wilson is playing the last year on his current contract worth just under $5.2 million annually.

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