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Wild sign defenceman Brent Burns to four-year contract extension

Burns, 22, entered Thursday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers with three goals – tops in the team among blue-liners – and one assist in nine games. Burns, who will make US$875,000 this season, was set to become a restricted free agent next summer.

Terms of his new contract were not released.

“The effort Brent has given to improving himself as a player is evident to the point that he is becoming an impact player in our lineup,” Wild general manager Doug Risebrough said in a statement. “This is recognition of that effort and of his potential.”

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Burns has 15 goals and 36 assists in 194 career games with the Wild, who selected him in the first round (20th overall) of the 2003 draft.