NHL

Blues sign Jaden Schwartz to five-year contract extension

WINNIPEG, MB - OCTOBER 18: Jaden Schwartz #17 of the St. Louis Blues stretches at the bench during the pre-game warm up prior to NHL action against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre on October 18, 2015 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

WINNIPEG, MB - OCTOBER 18: Jaden Schwartz #17 of the St. Louis Blues stretches at the bench during the pre-game warm up prior to NHL action against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre on October 18, 2015 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues and restricted free agent forward Jaden Schwartz have avoided arbitration and agreed on a five-year contract extension worth $26.75 million.

Re-signing the 24-year-old Schwartz was a top priority for the team, which lost in the Western Conference finals to San Jose. The Blues have given long-term deals to forward Vladimir Tarasenko and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, but this summer allowed captain David Backes to leave for a free-agent deal with Minnesota.

"I have no problem giving out long-term contracts," general manager Doug Armstrong said on the team's website. "You just want to make sure the player is at that level."

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The arbitration case had been set for Wednesday.

In 240 games with St. Louis, the former first-round draft pick has 70 goals and 157 points. He was limited to 33 games by a fractured ankle last season, and had eight goals and 14 assists.