SAN JOSE -- Coming off the most productive season of his NHL career, defenseman Jason Demers signed a two-year, $6.8 million contract with the Sharks on Wednesday as he avoided salary arbitration and gave up one year of unrestricted free agency.
The 26-year-old Demers, who was a restricted free agent, was tendered a qualifying offer by the Sharks on June 30 but had filed for salary arbitration earlier this month. Demers made $1.5 million in a one-year contract with the team last season and was set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2014-15 season.
"I kind of wanted a two-year (deal). I want to be in San Jose for as long as I can," Demers said. "I love the organization -- they've done a lot for me, and I owe a lot to them. So being in that kind of culture and that type of organization, to me was important. "
With Demers signing, the Sharks appear to be almost set at defense for the upcoming season. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Justin Braun, Matt Irwin and Scott Hannan are also back, Brent Burns returns to the blue line, and younger players such as Taylor Doherty, Mirco Mueller and Matt Tennyson will be vying for roster spots in training camp. Doherty was signed to a one-year deal on Wednesday.
After an injury-plagued 2013 campaign, Demers had a career-best 34 points in 75 games in 2013-14. He also improved defensively, finishing with a plus-minus rating of 14.
"We think he's entering into the prime of his career, and we expect him to grow even more as a player," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said.
Doherty, 23, had 15 points in 69 games with Worcester in 2013-14.