Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- The Nashville Predators are bringing back one of their best defenseman, after General Manager David Poile announced on Wednesday that Mattias Ekholm was signed to a four-year, $25 million contract that keeps him in Music City through the 2025-26 season.

Poile spoke about him being a foundational piece for what is now, a much younger team.

“Ekholm is certainly at the top of the list, and we couldn’t be happier to get this deal done with the start of the regular season upon us,” Poile said. “An alternate captain who leads both vocally and by example, Mattias brings stability and size to our defense corps and has embraced serving as a mentor to the younger players on our team.”

Ekholm has played his entire NHL career with the Predators, making his debut during the 2011-12 season. The native of Borlänge, Sweden said that at this point, there is no other place he’d rather be.

“Staying with this organization and in this city was a priority for me and my family, and I’m so excited to be able to sign this contract,” Ekholm said. “Nashville is home for us, it’s where we want to be. I believe in the future of this team and I’m looking forward to the chance at competing for the Stanley Cup here in the next five seasons.”

Ekholm has played in 71 playoff games, tied for third most among skaters in franchise history. His plus-14 rating in the postseason is best in Nashville history. He also helped Sweden win the 2018 World Championship.

The Predators open up their season 2021-22 season on Wednesday, hosting the Seattle Kraken.