Ben Paton has committed his future to St Kilda after signing a two-year contract extension.
The emerging young gun put pen to paper earlier this week in a new deal that will see him in the tricolours until at least the end of 2022.
Paton entered 2020 with only 16 games under his belt, but the 21-year-old’s remarkable rise saw him feature in every game this season.
The sought-after stopper became one of the Saints’ most consistent performers, claiming a series of impressive scalps including some of the game’s best forwards.
Head of List Management James Gallagher said securing Paton’s services was a priority for the club.
“We’re rapt to have Ben commit to the future of our club,” he said.
“Pato’s one of a number of young guys we can see leading this footy club forward over the next 10 years along with the likes of Hunter Clark and Nick Coffield.
“The way he’s adapted to different challenges this year and become a really core component of our young backline has been very encouraging.
“He’s a really mature young man, and we’ve been impressed by not just his ability to perform on game-day, but his strong team-first attitude with how he prepares and trains as well.”
Paton played every game in 2020 to take his career total to 35, after being taken at pick No. 46 in the 2017 National Draft.