Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Vegas Golden Knights have locked up another pending free agent, signing Deryk Engelland to a one-year, $1.5MM extension. Engelland was set to become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason but has revitalized his career with the Golden Knights and been a huge part of their success on and off the ice.

Engelland was perhaps a surprise selection by the Golden Knights in the expansion draft, seeing as he was already an unrestricted free agent after playing last season with the Calgary Flames. There was a method to their madness however, as Engelland right from the start has been marketed as a hometown boy making good. Engelland is from Edmonton but played for the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL and makes his home in Las Vegas during the offseason. He’s taken on a leadership role with the team, helping players get comfortable in the city.

He’s also been much more than just a placeholder on the ice. The big, physical defenseman has been a mainstay on the blue line for Vegas, logging nearly 20 minutes a night and contributing 13 points in 41 games. Easily on pace to break his career-high of 17 points, he also leads the team in shorthanded ice time and is a +9 on the season.

The $1.5MM figure is an interesting one for Engelland, who is making just $1MM in salary this season but has a potential to earn another $1MM in performance bonuses. It’s unclear what those bonuses actually are, but should he hit all of them he’d actually be taking a pay cut to return next season. Though he’ll be 36 when the 2018-19 season begins, the Golden Knights will gladly keep him around even as his skills diminish, if only for his impact on the early connection of the franchise to the city.

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This article first appeared on Pro Hockey Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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