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Avalanche, Duchene agree to extension

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DENVER (AP) - The Colorado Avalanche agreed to a five-year extension with forward Matt Duchene that will run through the 2018-19 season.

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The 22-year Duchene is coming off a season in which he dished out a team-leading 26 assists and tied for the squad's top spot in scoring with 43 points.

Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic said on Thursday that Duchene ``represents the identity we want the Avalanche to be.''

The flashy forward was the No. 3 pick in the 2009 draft by the Avalanche, a team Duchene rooted for as a kid. He has been among the club's top-three scorers in three of his four seasons with Colorado.

``I appreciate the organization believing in me for the long-term future,'' Duchene said.

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