USATSI_9685518_154158418_lowresThe San Jose Sharks have signed defenceman Brent Burns to an eight-year contract worth a reported $64 million, the team announced on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old was set to become an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the current season. The deal will keep him a Shark through the 2024-2025 NHL season and includes a reported $37 million paid in signing bonuses as well as a three-team trade list, plus lockout protection for the 2020-2021 NHL season.

“This is a great group and we had a special year [in 2015-16] and it’s exciting to build on that,” Burns said. “This is a great place to come and play, and when you’re having fun it’s easier to work. I don’t even think of it as coming to work; the people here are great and they love their Sharks. We had a taste of last year and now you just want to win, so it’s exciting.”

The Norris finalist is coming off the best season of his career, when he posted 75 points in 82 games – including 27 goals. He also won the World Cup of Hockey in 2016 and the IIHF World Championship with Canada.

This season, Burns has 16 points in 19 games thus far and has registered 81 shots on goal.

“Brent is one the most dynamic players in the National Hockey League and we’re very excited to get this deal done,” Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said. “He has worked extremely hard to be an elite defenseman and at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, his abilities on this ice are unique and rare.”

Without a doubt, Burns has emerged as one of the most versatile players in the NHL. He can even slot in at the forward position and likes to carry the puck from his own end, giving the Sharks a great deal of mobility.

San Jose is currently 10-8-1, good for second in the Pacific Division and just two points behind the Edmonton Oilers. They’ve scored 45 goals this season and have allowed 42 goals against.

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