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Avalanche sign defenseman Samuel Girard to 7-year extension

Samuel Girard #49 of the Colorado Avalanche skates the puck against the Montreal Canadiens during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on January 12, 2019 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

DENVER — The Avalanche locked up defenseman Samuel Girard with a seven-year extension that goes through the 2026-27 season.

Girard, 21, played in all 82 games last season. He finished with four goals and 23 assists for an Avalanche team that has made back-to-back playoff appearances.

It was Girard’s second season with the Avalanche after being acquired from Nashville as part of a three-team deal with Ottawa on Nov. 5, 2017.

He was originally a second-round pick in 2016 by the Predators.

Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic says Girard has an “exceptional ability to skate and move the puck.”

The Avalanche boast a young and exciting blue line with Girard, Cale Makar and Bowen Byram, the fourth overall pick in the June draft.

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