Mattias Ekholm Inks Four-Year, $25 Million Deal With The Predators

Mattias Ekholm. Photo: Courtesy of the NHL

Nashville Predators veteran defenseman Mattias Ekholm has signed a four-year $25 million deal, earning him $6.25 a year until the 2025-26 season.

Ekholm, 31, has played his entire eight-season, 586-game NHL career with the Predators after making his League debut during the 2011-12 campaign.

“When you think about foundational pieces on our hockey team, Mattias Ekholm is certainly at the top of the list, and we couldn’t be happier to get this deal done with the start of the regular season upon us,” says Predators President of Hockey Operations and General Manager David Poile. “An alternate captain who leads both vocally and by example, Mattias brings stability and size to our defense corps and has embraced serving as a mentor to the younger players on our team. We have a group of young, right-shot defensemen that includes Alexandre Carrier, Philippe Myers, Dante Fabbro and Matt Benning who all have the opportunity to learn from and play with Mattias on the side opposite him, and we’re excited about the stability that will provide us on the blue line.”

Ekholm was drafted by the Predators in the fourth round (102nd overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft and has gone on to suit up in 71 career Stanley Cup Playoff games. He reached the 20-point mark for the sixth consecutive season in 2020-21, tallying 23 (6 goals, 17 assists), the second-most among Predators defensemen; he also was third among all Nashville skaters in assists with 17. Ekholm led the Predators and was tied for 16th among all NHL defensemen in plus-minus at +19, the third-highest total of his NHL career.

Ekholm, who served as an alternate captain for Nashville last season, also notched two game-winning goals and recorded his first career multi-goal game on Feb. 27 against Columbus. In six Stanley Cup Playoff games, Ekholm recorded three assists, including two in Nashville’s Game 4 victory versus. Carolina, and averaged a career-high 26:27 of ice time, the second-best total on the team.

“Staying with this organization and in this city was a priority for me and my family, and I’m so excited to be able to sign this contract,” says Ekholm. “Nashville is home for us – it’s where we want to be. I believe in the future of this team and I’m looking forward to the chance at competing for the Stanley Cup here in the next five seasons.”

Steven Boero