- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 4, 2017

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - The Anaheim Ducks signed Josh Manson to a four-year contract extension through the 2021-22 season on Wednesday, locking up another young defenseman on their talent-rich blue line with a long-term deal.

Manson announced his own contract on the Ducks’ Twitter account . The former sixth-round pick has risen to a prominent role in Anaheim with his physical two-way game, establishing himself as a cornerstone of the Ducks’ future.

“I think it shows even more confidence that they have in me and the player that I’m going to be for years to come, and that I’m somebody they want on their roster,” Manson said.

Manson scored 17 points and played in every game last season while the Ducks won their fifth straight Pacific Division title and advanced to the Western Conference finals. He has 10 goals and 25 assists in 181 regular-season games over three seasons, along with three assists in 18 postseason games.

Manson would have been a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. Instead, he joins defensemen Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen in signing long-term deals to stay in Anaheim.

Along with youngster Brandon Montour, the Ducks have an enviable collection of young defensive talent even after losing high-scoring Shea Theodore to Vegas in the expansion draft. Anaheim also has veteran defensemen Kevin Bieksa and Francois Beauchemin this season, but the Ducks’ long-term future belongs to its youth.

“I think you never know what you’re going to do over the next four years,” Manson said. “Obviously a Stanley Cup is the goal, and as many as you can win. I hope I can contribute more offensively than in previous years and make the coaches confident in my ability.”

Manson is the son of Dave Manson, a steady defenseman for seven NHL franchises over 16 seasons. Although Josh doesn’t hesitate to play a physical game, he is more offensively skilled and more judicious about fighting than his dad.

“I hope I continue to progress as the years go along,” Josh Manson said. “I still feel like I haven’t reached my potential. I still feel like there’s areas of my game where I want to keep improving.”

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