Ducks extend Sbisa for four years, $8.7 million.

The Ducks secured a major piece of their defense Tuesday by signing Luca Sbisa to a four-year contract extension worth $8.7 million. The 21-year-old will make $1.2 million next season, $2 million in 2012-13, $2.6 million in 2013-14 and $2.9 million in 2014-15.

“We are pleased to be able to reach an agreement with Luca on a long-term contract,” general manager Bob Murray said in a statement. “He has a bright future ahead of him and we look forward to watching him continue to develop.”

Sbisa becomes only the second Ducks player signed through 2014-15 (Bobby Ryan is the other) and gives the team seven defensemen under contract for next season. Sbisa would have become a restricted free agent July 1, when the entry-level deal he signed with Philadelphia was set to expire.

Already a smooth skater when he broke in as a rookie with the Flyers in 2008-09, the former first-round draft pick has taken tremendous strides since the beginning of the season to become a more well-rounded defenseman. He’s eliminated the ill-advised forays with the puck through the neutral zone in favor of a more conservative game, in the process becoming a third-pair fixture (recently with Francois Beauchemin) on the back end.

Sbisa has two goals and eight points in 52 games this season. He’s second on the team in hits (131) and sixth in blocked shots (61) while averaging 16:23 time on ice per game.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.

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