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Golden Knights sign defenseman Colin Miller to 4-year, $15.5 million contract

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The 25-year-old led Vegas blue liners with 41 points in the 2017-18 season.

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Washington Capitals at Vegas Golden Knights Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Vegas’ first major RFA has signed.

Golden Knights defenseman Colin Miller will now be with the team for another four seasons, for an average annual value (AAV) of $3.875 million.

It was only a matter of time before Vegas put pen to paper with the 25-year-old, as there are very few players who ever make it to arbitration after filing.

The right-handed defenseman led the Golden Knights back end with 41 points, 10 goals, and tied for the team lead with Nate Schmidt in assists (31).

Inking this contract means that Vegas — barring any trades, of course — will keep Miller on the blue line for his age 26-29 seasons, which is more or less the period right up until a decline becomes noticeable.

By some metrics, Miller was an elite defenseman in the 2017-18 season:

Colin Miller in 2017-18

Category Value League Rank
Category Value League Rank
Points 41 T-27th
5v5 CF%Rel 6.66 2nd
Goals Above Replacement/82G (Corsica) 4.82 16th

It is important to note, however, that some of Miller’s success — especially in shot metrics — came about due to his favorable deployment. Only eight qualifying defensemen had a higher proportion of offensive zone starts than Miller (60.98 oZS%).

Still, we are looking at a player who played like a first pair defenseman despite not receiving commensurate minutes. A price tag of under $4 million per year is more than reasonable, and represents the kind of contract Vegas should be handing out.

One final chart to capture Miller’s output, courtesy of Domenic Galamini: