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Avalanche ink defenseman Nick Holden to a 3-year contract extension

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A bevy of unrestricted defensemen hit the open market on Tuesday, yet the Avalanche were busy taking care of a player they already have. The team announced that they had signed defenseman Nick Holden to a three-year contract extension. While financial terms were not disclosed, it is believed to be worth $1.65 million per season. The deal will kick in after next season, when he was set to become an unrestricted free agent.

“Nick was a big part of our defense last season,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic. “He provided offense from our blue line and played with a lot of confidence as the season moved on. We are pleased that he will continue to be a part of our team.”

A career minor-leaguer, the 27-year-old Holden had only played in seven NHL games prior to joining the Avs last season. In 54 games, he had 10 goals and 25 points. He added three goals and four points in seven playoff contests.

At 6’4” and 207, Holden is a big body who likes to throw his weight around. He also has a penchant for jumping into the play offensively, as many of his goals came from the backdoor in close. The St. Albert, Alberta native went undrafted, joining the Blue Jackets organization as a free agent in 2008.

The Avalanche made a couple of other moves to reshape their blueline on Tuesday, trading for Brad Stuart; and making two minor signings in Zach Redmond and Bruno Gervais. The Avalanche still have a restricted free agent among their defensive corps in Tyson Barrie.