(Newark) The New Jersey Devils kept another important piece of their team by signing forward Timo Meier to an eight-year, $70.4 million contract extension.

Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald announced the signing of the restricted free agent Wednesday, hours before the NHL Draft in Nashville, Tenn.

The 26-year-old Swiss’ contract will run until the end of the 2030-31 season and will allow him to pocket an annual average of 8.8 million.

“We were thrilled to acquire Timo at the trade deadline, but it’s an even greater feeling knowing he’ll be with us for the next eight seasons,” Fitzgerald said. Timo’s unique blend of playing style, scoring skills and physical presence will be invaluable to us. »

The Devils also acquired forward Tyler Toffoli on Tuesday in a trade that sent forward Yegor Sharangovich and a draft pick to the Calgary Flames.

Fitzgerald also signed center Erik Haula and forward Jesper Bratt and traded defenseman Damon Severson to the Columbus Blue Jackets for the pick that was used to acquire Toffoli.

The Devils made the playoffs for the first time since 2017-18.

Meier began his career with the San Jose Sharks in 2016-17 and has just completed his seventh NHL season. He had nine goals and five assists in 21 games with the Devils, recording 40 goals and a career-high 17 power-play goals for the entire campaign.

Meier added two goals and two assists in the playoffs, but mostly provided a physical presence on the ice in the playoffs against the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes.