The Columbus Blue Jackets have inked rugged blue liner Dalton Prout to a two-year contract extension with an annual average value of $1.575 million, the club announced on Friday.
The 26-year-old Kingsville, Ont. native was set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
In 56 games, Prout has matched his career-high of eight points (two goals, six assists) set last season. His 87 penalty minutes rank second on the Blue Jackets behind only Scott Hartnell (108 minutes).
“Dalton is a hard-working defenseman who adds size, strength and physicality to our blueline,” said Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen in a statement. “He is very well respected by his teammates and everyone in our organization and we are very pleased that he will continue to be part of our group moving forward.”
Prout becomes the third Blue Jackets pending RFA to sign an extension in just over a month.
As Columbus Dispatch reporter Aaron Portzline notes, Columbus still has pending restricted free agents Seth Jones and William Karlsson to take care of. According to Portzline, Karlsson has told the team to hold off on negotiations until the summer.