Shortly after they closed the biggest deal in franchise history with defenseman Shea Weber, the Nashville Predators continued otherwise to conduct business as usual Tuesday.
Restricted free agent forward Colin Wilson signed a three-year, $6 million contract, which likely established him as one of the team’s building blocks despite a diminished role in each of the last two playoff efforts.
The deal pays him $1.5 million in 2012-13, $2 million the following season and $2.5 million in the final year. It also makes him one of only five Nashville players currently under contract signed beyond 2013-14.
Selected seventh overall in 2008, Wilson already ranks fifth among all-time Predators’ first-round picks with 185 games played. He trails David Legwand (846), Ryan Suter (542), Dan Hamhuis (483) and Scott Hartnell (436) in that regard.
He has scored 39 goals and added 45 assists in that time and set career-highs of 20 assists and 35 points in just 68 games last season.
The 22-year-old has been in the lineup for just seven of 23 playoff games over the last two seasons, however. He has one goal and one assist in 13 career playoff appearances.
In 2011, he lost playing time after Mike Fisher was added at the trade deadline and Blake Geoffrion emerged as a regular over the final six weeks of the regular season. Last year, he dropped out of the top 12 forwards after the return of Alexander Radulov and the trade for Andrei Kostitsyn.
Of those four players, only Fisher remains with the team.
Wilson was one of 10 restricted free agents who received qualifying offers from the team late in June. He is the fifth player among that group to come to terms on a new deal. Forwards Sergei Kostitsyn, Chris Mueller and Jack MacClellan and goalie Jeremy Smith all signed within the last two weeks.
Weber also received a qualifying offer, which guaranteed the Predators the opportunity to match an offer sheet he might sign with another team. Weber did that last Wednesday when he agreed to a 14-year, $110 million offer sheet from the Philadelphia Flyers — and the Predators matched that deal Tuesday afternoon, roughly 30 hours before the deadline.