The Detroit Red Wings agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension with prospect Jakub Kindl on Thursday that will keep the young defenseman a part of the organization through at least the 2013—2014 season.
The deal is reportedly worth $2.65 million and will kick in with the 2010—2011 season.
"We're making a commitment to him and look forward to his continued development," said Red Wings Assistant General Manager Jim Nill.
Kindl, 22, was the Red Wings' first choice (19th overall) in the 2005 NHL draft.
After being drafted, the native of the Czech Republic played two more seasons with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL, scoring 23 goals and 90 assists for a total of 113 points in his final 114 games.
He struggled adjusting to the American League during his first full year in 2007—08, scoring just three goals and 14 assists in 75 games. He bounced back in 2008—09 starting off the year with five goals and 22 assists in the first 43 games and was rewarded with a spot in the AHL All—Star Game. He couldn't keep up the pace, however and finished the year with just six goals and 27 assists in 78 games.
Kindl has yet to appear in a Red Wings regular season game, but has appeared in exhibition games the last two years and was a reserve for the Wings during this past season's playoff run.
Known as offensive defenseman, when Red Wings selected him in the 2005 NHL Draft he was considered to be a future power play quarterback. While he has shown flashes of this potential, he has also struggled with turnovers and inconsistency.
"He's got offensive abilities, now it's about being a solid defensive player," Nill also said.
He will likely spend most of next year in Grand Rapids but will be the first to be called up in the event of multiple injuries.
With good size (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) and puckhandling skills, the Wings hope Kindl will be a fixture on the blue line for years to come.
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