OTTAWA, Ontario — The Ottawa Senators avoided arbitration with restricted free-agent forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau on Monday by agreeing to terms on a $9.3 million, three-year contract.

The 24-year-old center will earn $2.6 million next season, $3.3 million in 2018-19 and $3.4 million in 2019-20.

Pageau had eight playoff goals last spring as the Senators reached the Eastern Conference finals. He had 12 goals and 21 assists in 82 regular-season games.

“As an organization we are thrilled that we got this contract done,” Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said.

“Arbitration is definitely a path we did not want to go down with Jean-Gabriel, especially the way he’s performed over the course of the last few seasons. He showed that he was definitely deserving of this contract.

“Any player that has a history of raising his game, whether it was in junior playoffs or (AHL) playoffs or NHL playoffs, I think you have to give credit for what he’s accomplished. We’re really happy to have him on board for the next three years.”

In 251 regular-season games, Pageau has 101 points (45 goals, 56 assists) and 71 penalty minutes.

Pageau had four goals — including the game winner — in Ottawa’s 6-5 double-overtime win over the New York Rangers in Game 2 of their conference semifinal. The Ottawa native, who grew up in nearby Gatineau, Quebec, has 16 points (12 goals, four assists) in 35 playoff games.

“We’ve always had a good relationship with Pierre, with (former GM) Bryan (Murray) before, with the team,” Pageau said.

“They always knew that I wanted to stay with the team. I take pride (in playing) for the Senators. So obviously I think that helped get the deal done. I’m happy … to be here for the next three years.”

Pageau was drafted by the Senators in the fourth round (96th overall) of the 2011 draft.


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