The Edmonton Oilers have signed star defenseman Darnell Nurse to an eight-year, $74 million extension.

Nurse is currently heading into the final year of his two-year bridge deal he signed in December 2020, so this extension will kick in starting in the 2022-23 season. He’ll make $5.6 million in the 2021-22 season. With his new contract, he’ll be No. 5 on the list of highest-paid defenseman in the NHL, only behind Erik Karlsson, Drew Doughty, Zach Weresnki and Seth Jones.

Nurse is coming off an excellent season with the Oilers in which he tallied 16 goals and notched the fourth-most minutes per game of ice time in the NHL. He also had 20 assists and was a plus-27, which was the second-best mark on Edmonton behind only Leon Draisaitl (plus-29).

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With the 26-year-old manning the back line, the Oilers finished second in the North Division with 72 points. Unfortunately, they were promptly swept out of the playoffs by the Winnipeg Jets.

Despite the ugly playoff exit, Edmonton has a solid core led by Conor McDavid, Nurse, Draisaitl, Tyson Barrie and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The Oilers also traded for veteran defenseman Duncan Keith earlier in in the offseason.

Edmonton will be hoping to make it further in the playoffs next season, and Nurse will play a key role in that attempt.