Tommy Novak signs 3-year extension with Predators

Nashville Predators center Tommy Novak signed a three-year extension Monday in a deal that will see him remain with the club through the 2026-27 season.

Starting next season, Novak will earn $3.5 million annually to become the sixth-highest paid player on the roster. The 26-year-old had been set to become an unrestricted free agent, as he was on a one-year deal worth $800,000. He joins Filip Forsberg, Roman Josi and Ryan O'Reilly as the only players on the Preds' roster with deals longer than three seasons.

Getting a new deal situated for Novak was one of the looming issues facing the Predators, given how well he has played this season. He's projected to finish with 17 goals and 45 points in 67 games, which has made him one of the more prolific players on a roster that has struggled at times to find offensive consistency this season.

Novak, who is fifth on the team in points and sixth in goals, has continued to build on what he did during his first full season in 2022-23, when he finished with 17 goals and 43 points in 51 games.

His contributions as the third-line center and a member the team's first-team power-play unit have provided the sort of depth that could help the club return to the playoffs following a one-year absence.

Entering Monday, Nashville (35-25-2), with an eight-game winning streak, has been the NHL's hottest team. This stretch of games has put the Predators in the driver's seat for the second of two Western Conference wild-card spots.

They opened the week with a seven-point edge over the Calgary Flames and St. Louis Blues, with the Minnesota Wild and Seattle Kraken also seeking to chase the Predators. The NHL trade deadline arrives at 3 p.m. ET on Friday.