Boychuk/By S. Bradley

The Bruins moved to keep another part of their championship nucleus in place today, according to TSN reporter Bob McKenzie.

McKenzie reports defenseman Johnny Boychuk has signed a three-year contract extension worth $3.36 million per season. Boychuk was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

In 52 games, Boychuk has posted 3-7-10 totals and a plus-23 rating while averaging 20:30 of ice time on Boston’s top pair with Zdeno Chara. Boychuk is in the second year of a two-year deal worth $1.875 million per season.

Like most teams in the NHL, the Bruins have put an emphasis on maintaining continuity on their roster. The Bruins now have their top five defensemen signed beyond next year. Only Joe Corvo is scheduled to hit free agency, and this deal, plus the development of Steven Kampfer and others, probably spells the end of Corvo’s Boston stint once this season’s through (assuming he makes it that far).

Up front, the Bruins have eight players signed for next year. Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton are headed toward unrestricted free agency.