Restricted free agent Bowen Byram has signed a two-year deal with the Avalanche, the team announced on Saturday. Arguably the biggest priority of the offseason, Byram’s deal carries a $3.85 million AAV.

Byram, 22, is a budding star in the NHL. Despite suffering from injuries over the past two years, the young defenseman is still one of Colorado’s more crucial pieces. He had 10 goals and 24 points in 42 games in the 2022-23 regular season and three assists in the Avs’ seven-game series loss to Seattle.

Drafted No. 4 overall in 2019 by Colorado, Byram has 43 points (15 goals) in 91 career regular-season games. He also was a vital piece of the 2022 Stanley Cup championship, logging nine assists in 20 games. Byram tied for the league lead with a plus-15 rating during that Cup run.

With the addition of Byram, the Avs have five defensemen making at least $3.85 million. He joins Cale Makar, Devon Toews, Samuel Girard and Josh Manson, all of which were part of Colorado’s championship team.

The Avalanche also announced to free-agent signings, handing out a six-year deal ($2.5 million AAV) to Miles Wood and nabbing Jonathan Drouin to a one-year contract worth $825,000.