Kesler was to be restricted free agent

Updated: March 19, 2010, 1:57 PM ET
Associated Press

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Canucks center Ryan Kesler signed a six-year, $30 million contract extension Friday that will keep him in Vancouver through the 2015-16 season.

In his sixth season with the Canucks, the 25-year-old Kesler already has set a new career high with 66 points in 71 games, exceeding the 59 points he recorded last season, when he was a Selke Trophy finalist as the NHL's top defensive forward.

"Ryan Kesler has excelled as a two-way player and in his role as an alternate captain," general manager Mike Gillis said in a statement. "Ryan has showcased his ability to perform under extreme pressure and we are looking forward to continuing to see Ryan develop into one of the League's premier players."

Kesler, who was drafted 23rd overall by the Canucks in 2003, has 17 points in his past 15 games, including a 13-game point streak that was the fifth-longest in the NHL this season.

He also scored two goals and was a key player in the United States' run to a silver medal at the Olympics in Vancouver.

The 6-foot-2, 202-pound center from Livonia, Mich., has 86 goals, 206 points and 341 penalty minutes in 391 NHL games with the Canucks.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press