Vegas Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault has been signed to a six-year contract extension worth $30 million, the club announced Wednesday.

The 27-year-old from Cap-Rouge was making $750,000 a year under his current contract, but the new deal will push him up to $5 million annually.

Marchessault has 15 goals and 22 assists for a total of 37 points in 35 games this season. He leads the Golden Knights in scoring.

Marchessault was never drafted into the NHL, but he signed his first professional contract with the AHL’s Connecticut Whale, the New York Rangers’ affiliate. He subsequently signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets organization and spent time with their AHL affiliate before a trade sent him to Tampa Bay. He spent time in Syracuse before an injury to Jonathan Drouin resulted in a call-up.

Marchessault later signed with the Florida Panthers as a free agent and put up 30 goals in the 2016-2017 season. Despite this, he was left exposed by the club during the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft and was snatched up by Vegas.

“It was never easy. Everything was always hard for me,” Marchessault said. “I’m happy of the path that I took, and I’m just happy to be here, and I think it’s going to be a great experience for our whole team. We started something great, and we want to keep going, for sure.”

The 27-9-2 Golden Knights are first in the Pacific Division and are lining up the pieces for a playoff run, which should surprise no one at this point. Despite the efforts of more cynical “journalists” to suggest the eventual downfall of George McPhee’s management, Vegas has proven its capacity to play with the big dogs in the NHL.

With Marchessault inked up and defenceman Brayden McNabb signed to a deal in November, McPhee’s club is well-positioned for the future with some affordable and significant contracts.

“He fits our identity,” the GM said of the Marchessault signing. “He works very hard. He’s very, very competitive, lots of second and third and fourth effort. He works hard at both ends of the rink, and he’s generating offence.”

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