On the heels of his best NHL season, Jason Demers was rewarded with a two-year contract with the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, General Manager Doug Wilson announced.
The deal is worth $6.8 million over two seasons, according to Elliote Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada, as the Sharks avoided an arbitration hearing with their young defenseman.
Demers, 26, had career-highs in goals (5) and assists (29) last season, finishing with 34 points. Drafted in the seventh round in 2008, Demers was once considered a long-shot to make the NHL, but has now grown into one of the Sharks’ best offensive-minded blue liners.
Said Wilson in a press release:
“Jason has been a solid, offensive defenseman and is coming off a good season. His skill set and his age mesh well within our overall group and we’re happy to have him signed for two more years.”
Demers tweeted about the news:
— jason demers (@jasondemers5) July 16, 2014
With the departures of Dan Boyle and Brad Stuart and Brent Burns moving back to defense, the Sharks now have six defensemen under contract for next season: Demers, Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Justin Braun, Matt Irwin, and Scott Hannan. San Jose is also likely to call up top prospect Mirco Mueller to begin the season, and use Hannan as a seventh defenseman.
In addition to the re-signing of Demers, the Sharks also brought back prospect Taylor Doherty on a one-year deal. The 23-year-old defenseman has spent the past four seasons in Worcester.