Columbus Blue Jackets Extend Markus Nutivaara

Markus Nutivaara
COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 20: Markus Nutivaara #65 of the Columbus Blue Jackets controls the puck during the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 20, 2017 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

The Columbus Blue Jackets signed defenseman Markus Nutivaara to a four-year contract extension worth $10.8 million, or $2.7 million per season. This contract extension carries him through the 2021-2022 season.

Nutivaara’s Extension Keeps Him With the Columbus Blue Jackets

Over his two-year NHL career, Nutivaara has played for only the Blue Jackets. He has put up eight goals and 21 assists for 29 career points in 125 career games. He was originally drafted in the seventh round, 189th overall of the 2015 NHL draft by the Blue Jackets.

So far this season he scored six goals and 16 assists for 22 points. He also added 14 minutes in penalties. His possession numbers were 53.7 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of +3.5.

“Markus is a smart, mobile defenseman who reads the ice very well and excels at moving the puck,” general manager Jarmo Kekalainen told the press. “He has become an important part of our blueline over the past two seasons and we look forward to his continued growth and contributions to our team success moving forward.”

What This Means for the Future

Nutivaara has come on strong this season, surpassing expectations. When it came to talking about the Blue Jackets defence in the off-season it was who was going to be on the third pairing with Ryan Murray. While Nutivaara was mentioned, Gabriel Carlsson was expected to have the inside track. The 23-year-old Finland native has blossomed and secured his spot on the team. He has played in 59 games this season recently returning from injury. Nutivaara is putting up career-high numbers in goals, assists, and points this season. In terms of defensemen, he is third on the team in those categories. Nutivaara has moved up to the second defensive pairing for the Blue Jackets as the season comes to a close. Signing Nutivaara means the Blue Jackets are likely to let veteran defensemen Jack Johnson go in free agency after the season.

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