The Year of the Defenceman marches on.
The New York Rangers locked down their best young player on Monday evening, agreeing to terms with defenceman Adam Fox on a seven-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $9.5 million.
The specifics of the deal, such as its salary structure or inclusion of any trade protection, have yet to be determined.
Now, $9.5 million is a lot to pay a defenceman. When that defenceman happens to be the best one in the league, however, it's a different story.
That's where Adam Fox is right now.
The reigning Norris Trophy winner is an elite two-way defender -- more than capable in his own end and downright lethal in his opponents'. Fox already has nine points in nine games to kick off the 2021-22 season, showing that his 47 points in 55 games from 2021 was far from an aberration.
Fox is vital to the Rangers' future success. He logs upwards of 24 minutes per night against top competition, drives play at a sizzling rate, and quarterbacks the team's power play.
What more could you ask from him?
Including Fox's deal, the Rangers will now have roughly $44.1 million of their cap dedicated to Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, Mike Zbanejad, and Jacob Trouba. That's a lot of money to be split between five players. But when one of them is the best at his position, the price becomes far more palatable.