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Brad E. Schlossman / Forum Communications Co. , Published July 20 2012

Former UND standout Oshie signs five-year deal with St. Louis Blues

GRAND FORKS – T.J. Oshie won’t be going anywhere for a long time.

The former University of North Dakota and Warroad (Minn.) High School hockey standout signed a five-year contract worth $20.875 million with the St. Louis Blues late Thursday night.

The deal came on the eve of an arbitration hearing, in which an arbitrator would have set Oshie’s compensation for one or two years.

Instead, the team avoided that process by inking Oshie to a long-term deal.

“Couldn’t be more happy to re-sign for another five years with the Blues,” Oshie tweeted moments after the deal was announced.

Oshie tied as the leading scorer for St. Louis last season, tallying a career-high 19 goals and a career-high 54 points in 80 games. He helped the Blues reached the playoffs, where they lost in the second round to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.

Oshie is the second former UND player to sign a big contract this offseason.

Zach Parise signed a 13-year, $98 million deal with the Minnesota Wild earlier this month.

The 25-year-old Oshie led Warroad to a state championship in 2005, racking up 99 points in 31 games. The Warriors went undefeated that year and Oshie was picked by the Blues in the first round of that summer’s NHL draft.

He burst onto the scene at UND by scoring 24 goals as a rookie. As a sophomore, he played on a prolific top line alongside Jonathan Toews and eventual Hobey Baker Award winner Ryan Duncan.

Oshie turned down a contract offer from the Blues to return to UND for his junior season. He helped UND get to the Frozen Four for a fourth consecutive season, but the team fell to Boston College in the semifinals.

Since turning pro, Oshie has never played a game in the minor leagues. He’s battled through some injuries, while playing 262 games in four seasons. He has career totals of 63 goals and 175 points.

The Blues recently signed forward David Perron to a $15.25 million deal.

Oshie is the third-highest paid player on the Blues behind Andy MacDonald, whose contract expires after next season, and captain David Backes, who played college hockey at Minnesota State-Mankato.

Brad Schlossman is a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald