The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman Karl Alzner to a four-year, $11.2 million contract, the team announced on Wednesday afternoon.

Alzner, a restricted free agent this summer, will count $2.8 million against the salary cap through the end of the 2016-17 season.

"We are very pleased to sign Karl Alzner to a contract extension," general manager George McPhee said in a team statement. "Karl is just entering his prime and has been a model of consistency for our organization since he entered the League. He plays tough and valuable minutes against some of the NHL's top players every game."

The Capitals drafted Alzner with their first-round pick (No. 5 overall) back in 2007. He's been a regular on their blue line in each of the past three seasons, appearing in every game since the start of the 2009-10 campaign.

He's become one of their most reliable players on the blue line and when McPhee says he plays tough minutes against the NHL's top players, he's not kidding. Just looking at this past season Alzner's most common opponents during 5-on-5 play were, in order of minutes against, Jordan Staal, Evander Kane, Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, Blake Wheeler, and Ilya Kovalchuk.