Wild extend Ryan Hartman for three years, $12 million

Wild general manager Bill Guerin all but promised he would extend the contract of center Ryan Hartman this fall, and it became official on Saturday when the team announced the sides agreed to a three-year, $12 million contract.

The deal will begin paying the team’s No. 1 center $4 million a year starting next season and through 2026-27.

Guerin has now extended the contracts of three key forwards whose deals were set to expire after this season. Mats Zuccarello (two years, $8.25 million) and Marcus Foligno (four years, $16 million) agreed to deals on Sept. 29.

All three players approached Guerin separately about staying in Minnesota past this season.

Hartman is playing on the last of a three-year extension paying him $1.7 million a year, a bargain considering his production and the role he plays between Zuccarello and young star Kirill Kaprizov. In 2021-22, Hartman had a career-high 34 goals and 65 points before cooling off last season with 15 goals and 37 points.

“He’s a great player,” Kaprizov said after a 4-2 preseason victory on Sept. 28. “He’s always played well and knows what we want to do. He always tries to open things up, he has a nice shot — sometimes better than me and Zuccy. We know what Hartzy does, he knows what we want to do.”

The Wild play their last preseason game on Saturday evening at Xcel Energy Center. Puck drop is set for 5 p.m. They open the regular season at home Thursday against the Florida Panthers.

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