Avalanche sign J.T. Compher to 4-year deal; Mikko Rantanen still waiting

The Avalanche gave a young forward a new contract Wednesday, and no, it wasn’t Mikko Rantanen.

Colorado signed 24-year-old J.T. Compher to a four-year, $14 million deal, the team announced.

Compher scored 16 goals and added 16 assists for the Avalanche last season finishing fifth and 10th, respectively, on the team in the two categories.

“J.T. has been one of our most versatile forwards over the past two years,” Avalanche executive vice president and general manager Joe Sakic said in a release. “He plays on our power play, kills penalties and has played up and down our lineup. He has scored some big goals late in games and we are counting on him to have an even more expanded role moving forward. We are excited to have him under contract for the next four seasons.”

This was Compher’s second full season with the club. He scored 13 goals and added 10 assists in his first full year with the team following a 21-game stint in 2016-17.

This is an important deal for the Avalanche in that they lock up one of their better young players, who was a second-round pick in 2013, but it does beg another question — when will the team figure out Rantanen’s contract situation?

Rantanen is coming off of a career year in which he scored 31 goals and added 56 assists, but he remains a restricted free agent who is either waiting for a new deal or an offer sheet to be placed on him from another team.

As of now, the Avalanche have not given him a deal and many restricted free agents remain in limbo across the league as Mitch Marner, Patrik Laine and Matthew Tkachuk are all still waiting for contracts.

We’ll see how long all of these players will have to wait for their deals.