Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun reported Wednesday that the Winnipeg Jets and forward Nikolaj Ehlers agreed to terms on a seven-year, $42 million contract extension.

The 21-year-old Ehlers is set to enter his third NHL season, and he is coming off a 2016-17 campaign that saw him set career highs with 25 goals and 39 assists for 64 points.

By signing Ehlers to a new deal Wednesday, the Jets prevented him from hitting restricted free agency during the offseason and avoided the possibility of an offer sheet.

With a cap hit of $7 million per season, Ehlers will become the Jets’ highest-paid player annually beginning in 2018-19, according to NHL Numbers.

The Jets selected Ehlers with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft after the Denmark native racked up 49 goals and 55 assists for 104 points in 2013-14 with the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads.

After spending 2014-15 with the Mooseheads, Ehlers made the leap to the NHL and was an instant contributor with 15 goals and 38 points in 72 games as a rookie.

Ehlers improved in all areas last season, and he is a key part of a stacked Winnipeg forward group that also includes Patrik Laine, Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler.

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