The Avalanche avoided arbitration with recently acquired defenseman Devon Toews by signing him to a four-year deal Tuesday.
Toews, 26, was acquired on Oct. 12 for two second-round draft picks after electing to take the New York Islanders to salary arbitration. The hearing was scheduled for Oct. 31.
Per CapFriendly, the backloaded deal is worth $16.4 million. Toews will make $2.35 million next season before climbing to $3.55 million, $4.6 million and then $5.9 million in the last year of the contract.
“We’re excited to have Devon under contract for the next four years,” Avs general manager Joe Sakic said in a statement. “As I said when we acquired him, Devon is a smart, two-way, puck-moving defenseman who is a durable defender and is excellent in transition.”
With Toews’ $4.1 million annual cap hit, the Avs are now inching closer to the cap ceiling. Per CapFriendly, Colorado is now just over $1.8 million from the limit with a roster that includes 12 forwards, six defensemen and two goaltenders. The Avs still need to add an extra forward and an extra defenseman.
Center Logan O’Connor ($725,000) could be the extra forward. The Avs will then have to choose between young defensemen Bowen Byram ($894,167), Connor Timmins ($925,000), or Dennis Gilbert ($925,000) to be the seventh defenseman. The latter was acquired in the Brandon Saad deal with Chicago.
From Colorado Avalanche Communications
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed defenseman Devon Toews to a four-year contract through the 2023-24 season. Colorado acquired Toews from the New York Islanders on Oct. 12 in exchange for a second-round selection in the 2021 NHL Draft and a second-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.
Toews, 26, appeared in all 68 games for the Islanders during his first full NHL season in 2019-20, tallying 28 points (6g/22a). His six goals and 28 points finished second among New York defenders. The Abbotsford, British Columbia, native went on to skate in all 22 playoff games for the Islanders, where he tied for first among team defensemen with 10 points (2g/8a).
“We’re excited to have Devon under contract for the next four years,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President / General Manager Joe Sakic. “As I said when we acquired him, Devon is a smart, two-way, puck-moving defenseman who is a durable defender and is excellent in transition.”
Selected by the Islanders in the fourth round (108th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft, Toews has recorded 46 points (11g/35a) in 116 career NHL regular season contests and added 15 points (3g/12a) in 30 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Toews (pronounced: deh-VAHN TAYVS) made his NHL debut on Dec. 23, 2018 at Dallas and spent the rest of the 2018-19 campaign with the Islanders, recording 18 points (5g/13a) in 48 games. He also dressed in eight playoff contests during the 2019 postseason and led all team defensemen with five points (1g/4a).
Toews began his professional career with the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2016-17, collecting 45 points (5g/40a) in 76 games en route to being named to the AHL All-Rookie Team. Toews, who played in the 2016-17 AHL All-Star Game, led all rookies in assists that year while his 45 points tied for first among rookie defensemen. He registered 86 total points (18g/68a) in 130 AHL games with Bridgeport.
The 6-foot-1, 196-pound rearguard played three seasons at Quinnipiac University (ECAC) from 2013-16, where he totaled 67 points (12g/55a) in 108 collegiate games. He was named to the ECAC Second All-Star Team following his third and final season of 2015-16. Prior to enrolling at Quinnipiac, Toews played two years with the Surrey Eagles of the British Columbia Hockey League. He was selected to the BCHL All-Rookie Team in 2011-12 and followed that up by being named to the BCHL (Coastal) First All-Star Team and garnering BCHL (Coastal) Best Defenseman honors in 2012-13.