Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 | 3:49 p.m.
Even though he’s yet to see the ice through the first two weeks of this season, Alex Tuch now looks likely to play more games in a Vegas Golden Knights sweater than anyone on the roster.
The Golden Knights signed the currently injured 22-year-old forward to a seven-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $4.75 million on Friday afternoon. That makes Tuch locked up through the 2025-2026 season, longer than any of his teammates.
Tuch always projected as one of Vegas’ long-term building blocks and did nothing to downplay the expectation with a strong rookie season that included 37 points last year. He was competing for a spot on the second line alongside Max Pacioretty and Paul Stastny coming into this season, before appearing to hurt his ankle in the final preseason game.
The organization has not clarified his exact injury, but Tuch has been practicing in a non-contact jersey over the last week. He’s expected to return soon, though not in Saturday night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks at T-Mobile Arena.
Tuch posted a message to fans on the Golden Knights' twitter shortly after the team sent a press release announcing the agreement.
“Couldn’t be any more excited,” Tuch said in the video. “Really pumped to be a part of such an amazing club for the next eight years. It’s going to be a really amazing experience, and hopefully we get a lot wins in front of you guys at the Fortress.”
It’s the second big deal the Golden Knights have announced this year. Tuch’s roommate, 23-year-old defenseman Shea Theodore, agreed to a seven-year contract shortly before the end of training camp. Other than Tuch and Theodore, first-line wing Jonathan Marchessault is the only other player locked up for more than five years, as he signed through the 2023-2024 campaign this offseason.