Alexander Steen has been the St. Louis Blues best forward this season and on Wednesday, the club guaranteed he will be here even longer.
The club announced that Steen has agreed to a new three-year contract extension worth $17.4 million. Steen and Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong will discuss the deal at a Thursday morning news conference.
The 29-year-old Steen leads the Blues with 22 goals and 36 points in 33 games, just two goals away from his career-high of 24 in 2009-10. As of Wednesday afternoon he ranked second in the NHL in goals and ninth in points and is headed to the Winter Olympics, where he will play for Sweden.
A former first-round pick by Toronto, Steen came to the Blues in a 2008 trade along with Carlo Colaiacovo in exchange for winger Lee Stempniak.
In 570 NHL games, Steen has 145 goals and 339 points and is widely considered one of the league's top two-way forwards because of his strong checking skills and ability to play on the power play and penalty kill units.
Steen said he did not want to deal with contract negotiations during the season, but is right in the thick of what looks like the best season of his career.
Had he waited until the season was over, Steen might have attracted a lot of bidders on the open market as an unrestricted free agent next summer because of his versatility as one of the league's top two-way players.
Instead, the Blues have locked him to up with a contract that provides him a decent raise while not blowing up the team's current payroll.
Steen was in the final year of a four-year, $13.45 million contract paying him $3.566 million this season. His new deal pays him an annual average salary of $5.8 million.