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Wild sign Matt Boldy to 7-year, $49M contract extension

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Buffalo Sabres

Jan 7, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA; Minnesota Wild left wing Matt Boldy (12) during the third period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild signed forward Matt Boldy to a seven-year, $49 million contract extension, making him the latest young player in the NHL to cash in early off his entry-level deal.

Boldy will count $7 million against the salary cap through 2029-30 on the contract that kicks in next season. The 21-year-old was eligible to become a restricted free agent this summer, but the Wild paid up to extend him before he reached the 100-game mark in the NHL.

“It’s early in his career, but we just feel that Matt is going to be one of the cornerstones of our organization,” general manager Bill Guerin said on a video call with reporters.

The native of Milford, Massachusetts, has 68 points in 89 regular-season games, including 29 points in 42 games this season. He scored one goal in Minnesota’s playoff series last spring.

Boldy followed Buffalo’s Tage Thompson, New Jersey’s Jack Hughes and Dallas’ Jason Robertson as the latest rising star in the league to get a long-term deal earlier than usual.

The Wild will have to make more difficult roster decisions this summer because of a salary-cap crunch prompted by the buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, but the option of settling for a less-expensive bridge contract with Boldy wasn’t necessary for Guerin.

“We came out of the gates within the same range, and it was a good negotiation and we’re happy to have it done,” Guerin said. “Any time you have the ability to work out a fair deal with a player like Matt, we have to take advantage of being able to do that.”