The Vegas Golden Knights have had a busy afternoon.
Not only did they acquire goaltender Robin Lehner from Chicago and forward Nick Cousins from Montreal in late deadline-day moves, but they also re-signed defenseman Nick Holden to a two-year extension.
The deal carries a $1.7 million AAV.
Holden is in the final year of a two-year contract carrying a $2.2 million cap hit; he was set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
Holden has five goals and 11 points in 54 games this season, giving him eight goals and 26 points in 115 games with Vegas over the last two seasons. In 489 career games, he’s collected 44 goals and 138 points with the Knights, Bruins, Rangers, Avalanche and Blue Jackets.
He’s averaged 19:16 of ice time per game this season. Among defensemen who have played at least 10 games for Vegas this year, Holden ranks second in Corsi For percentage (56.17), Shots For percentage (57.07) and Expected Goals For percentage (57.72), sixth in GF% (46.67), first in High-Danger CF% (57.91) and seventh in HDGF% (47.5).
This is a somewhat surprising move, especially given the timing of the announcement.
However, Holden has situated himself in Vegas’ top four this season and has played well on the second pairing with Shea Theodore. It wasn’t too long ago that he was a prime trade candidate, but he now figures to be part of Vegas’ back end through 2021-22.
The Knights have five defensemen signed through at least next season, including Theodore, Nate Schmidt, Brayden McNabb, Alec Martinez and now Holden. All of them are left-shot defensemen.
Holden will turn 33 in May.
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