The Washington Capitals got a head start on their looming offseason decisions Saturday, re-signing third-line center Lars Eller to a five-year, $17.5 million deal. The 28-year-old was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and this move extends his current $3.5 million cap hit for five more seasons.

Re-signing Eller means Washington has its top three centers signed through at least the 2019-20 season. The Capitals traded for Eller before the 2016-17 season, and he’s having a career year with 11 goals and 17 assists through 53 games.

It’s unclear how much the current $75 million salary cap will go up for next season, but Eller’s new deal means there will now be less room available for pending unrestricted free agents John Carlson and Jay Beagle. As the best defenseman scheduled to hit the open market this summer, Carlson is expected to get a hefty contract. Right wing Tom Wilson is also entering restricted free agency this summer and is due a pay raise.