Canberra have signed young centre Jarrod Croker to an extended deal, keeping the 23-year-old at the Raiders until the end of the 2018 NRL season.

Canberra have rewarded Jarrod Croker for his fine form this NRL season, extending the 23-year-old’s deal with the Raiders for an extra three seasons.

Croker was already under contract for next year but will now stay with the NRL club until the end of the 2018 campaign.

The centre has been one of the few highlights in the Raiders’ disappointing season.

Croker has scored 18 tries this year to go into Saturday’s final match of the season against Parramatta just one try behind the Eels’ Semi Radradra for the NRL’s top try scorer award.

Croker (193) is also just five points behind North Queensland’s Johnathan Thurston (198) in the competition’s top point scorer race.

A local junior, Croker said he was delighted to have extended his deal with the Raiders.

“Canberra is a place I love and where I want to play my football,” he said.

“I believe we have a bright future ahead of us with our playing roster and coaching staff led by Ricky Stuart.”

Croker has been given the captaincy of the Raiders in their past three games and says it’s his ambition to take on that role into the future.

Raiders chief executive Don Furner said re-signing Croker was one of the club’s main aims, particularly with another exciting youngster in Anthony Milford leaving the club to join Brisbane.

“We see him as a leader who can help take us forward into the future,” Furner said.

“His form over the past few seasons makes him a valuable player for us here at the Raiders.

“His record at just 23 years of age of playing close to 150 matches and scoring almost 900 points is remarkable and he has the potential to break all of our club’s records.”