The Colorado Avalanche made it abundantly clear today that Gabe Landeskog is a part of the future for years to come. The team signed the young captain to a 7-year extension on his contract, good through the 2020-21 season.
"Gabe is and will continue to be a large part of the foundation of this hockey team for many years to come," said Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic. "Signing our captain to a long-term extension demonstrates the commitment of Stan and Josh Kroenke to this franchise and to our fan base. In just two seasons, Gabe has already proven to be a great asset to our organization both on and off the ice. The fact that he has agreed to a long-term deal shows that he believes in this team, his teammates and the direction of this franchise moving forward."
Chosen second overall in 2011, the young Swede immediately made an impact, garnering the coveted Calder Trophy for rookie of the year in 2011-2012. The following summer, the Avs showed how impressed the staff and coaches were with the winger by giving him the captaincy, which made him the youngest captain in NHL history. Although it seemed as if he struggled some in the shortened season of 2013 (actual numbers don't really back up that claim), he proved his leadership qualities by owning up to a disappointing season. He also admitted the C hung heavier on his sweater than he imagined it would.
This off-season, however, he has focused attention on improving both in leadership and on-ice performance. With another year under his belt and an (hopefully) injury-free season, Landeskog will surely take his game to the next level.
"I would like to thank the Kroenke family and the entire Avalanche organization for their trust and belief in me," Landeskog said. "I love Colorado and I love being a part of this wonderful community. There is no other place I’d rather be than in Denver wearing the Avalanche logo. I am looking forward to training camp and the upcoming season."
From the Avs' press release:
Landeskog has totaled 31 goals and 38 assists for 69 points in 118 career games. As a rookie in 2011-12, he finished tied for first among all freshmen with 52 points (22g/30a) in 82 games. The Stockholm, Sweden native was awarded the rookie scoring title in a tie-breaker over Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (18g/34a) on the basis of more goals. Landeskog led all rookies in shots (270) and takeaways (58), while ranking second in goals (20), plus/minus (+20), game-winning goals (5), power-play goals (6-tied) and hits (219). He was the second NHL rookie to ever surpass 20 goals and 200 hits in a season, joining Dion Phaneuf in 2005-06. Gabriel led the Avalanche in games, goals, plus/minus, shots, hits and game winners.
This past season, Landeskog recorded nine goals and eight assists for 17 points in 36 games. He led Colorado with three short-handed goals, the most by an Avs player since 2006-07 (Brad Richardson, 3). Following the 2012-13 season, Gabriel helped Sweden capture the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Championship in Stockholm and Helsinki. He appeared in all 10 games at the tournament, tallying three goals and one assist with a +4 rating. The left winger served as an alternate captain for Team Sweden at the 2012 IIHF World Championship, and was also an alternate captain for Sweden at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.