Erik Karlsson struck it rich in Las Vegas.

On the eve of the NHL awards in Sin City, the Senators star defenceman signed a seven-year, $45.5-million extension (cap hit of $6.5 million annually) with the club, preventing Karlsson from becoming a restricted free agent July 1.

"It feels really, really good," Karlsson said in a telephone interview before going out for dinner with Senators management to celebrate the conclusion of a relatively easy negotiation period.

"Obviously, I'm very happy with how everything turned out. From the start, all the discussions have been very positive and very fair. I have a lot of respect for (GM) Bryan (Murray), (owner) Eugene (Melnyk) and the whole organization. They're very professional, they've been around and they know how things work. I'm very pleased with everything that's happened."