Without even having to play a game with his new team in the 2012 season, defenseman Brent Burns has now signed a 5-year contract extension with the San Jose Sharks, raising an eyebrow or two around the league. The deal is reportedly worth $28.8 million, which works out to be a $5.76 million cap hit per year, which will put him among the elite defensemen in the 2013 season.
In 2011, Burns was ranked 14th among all defensemen in scoring, picking up 17 goals and 29 assists in 80 games for the Minnesota Wild, which looks really good. The Wild were not a very good offensive club, yet Burns still managed to pick up some points and make a solid season out of it.
The 26-year old defenseman was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2012 season, but a serious commitment from the Sharks has now been made to a good defenseman, making a potentially dangerous pairing of himself and Dan Boyle for at least the next three seasons.
I don't think this deal necessarily changes any projections for his points for next season, especially since he likely saw a pretty big adjustment moving to an offensive juggernaut like San Jose this Summer.