Avs get Stuart from Sharks

Denver, CO ( - The Colorado Avalanche added experience to their defense on Tuesday, acquiring veteran Brad Stuart from the San Jose Sharks for two draft picks.

The Sharks received a second-rounder in 2016 and a sixth-rounder in 2017.

"The acquisition of Brad helps strengthen our blue line," said Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic. "He is a proven, quality defenseman and his addition will help our team."

Stuart, 34, has played in nearly 1,000 games since breaking into the NHL in 1999, a year after he was selected third overall by San Jose.

The Alberta native has totaled 77 goals and 245 assists in 985 games with the Sharks, Boston, Calgary, Los Angeles and Detroit. He won a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008.

Colorado also signed defenseman Nick Holden to a three-year contract extension through the 2017-18 season and reached deals with four free agents, including forward Jesse Winchester.

A healthy scratch early in the season, Holden, 27, became a steady presence on the blueline and finished with 10 goals and 15 assists in 54 games for the Avalanche.

Winchester has skated in 285 games over six NHL seasons, the first five of which he spent with the Ottawa Senators. The 30-year-old was with Florida during the 2013-14 campaign and recorded a career-best nine goals along with nine assists over 52 games as a member of the Panthers.

Winchester, along with defenseman Zach Redmond and forward Ben Street, agreed to terms on a two-year contract, with the Avalanche also signing defenseman Bruno Gervais for one year.

Gervais owns 418 games of NHL experience but spent all of last season with the Adirondack Phantoms, Philadelphia's American Hockey League affiliate.