The Anaheim Ducks have signed Patrick Maroon to a three-year contract extension after the left wing’s breakout season.
The Ducks also signed first-round pick Nick Ritchie on Saturday.
The 26-year-old Maroon scored 29 points in 62 games with the Ducks last season, his first full NHL season. His new deal is worth a reported $6 million and runs through 2018, rewarding the tough forward for years of perseverance in the minors.
”It means the world to me,” Maroon said in a phone interview. ”It’s been a tough road for me. There’s a lot of ups and downs in hockey, but the Anaheim Ducks gave me a lot of confidence.”
Maroon was a frequent healthy scratch early last season, but he cemented his spot in coach Bruce Boudreau’s lineup in January, even earning playing time on the Pacific Division champions’ top line with captain Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
”I think after the Olympic break, I came back with an attitude to prove to myself that I can stay,” Maroon said. ”It just came, and Bruce gave me all the confidence in the world. Bruce has been good to me.”
Maroon added seven points and 38 penalty minutes in the postseason. His six-game postseason scoring streak was the NHL’s longest by a rookie since Los Angeles’ Warren Rychel in 1993.
The Ducks acquired Maroon from Philadelphia along with David Laliberte in 2010 in a trade for Danny Syvret and Rob Bordson. The Flyers abruptly dismissed Maroon from their AHL affiliate before the trade, never citing a specific reason for their disenchantment with their minor-league club’s leading scorer at the time.
Maroon has said the Flyers dumped him because of a perceived bad attitude, but he repaired his career with the Ducks’ minor-league affiliates in Syracuse and Norfolk.
Maroon is entering the final season of a two-year, $1.15 million contract. He had played just 15 NHL games over two seasons with Anaheim before making the team last year.
Anaheim selected Ritchie with the 10th overall pick in June. He had 39 goals and 35 assists for the OHL’s Peterborough Petes last year.
On draft night, the bruising left wing said he intended to make the Ducks’ roster in training camp, which would put him in direct competition with Maroon for playing time.