EXCITING draftee Ed Richards has been rewarded for an impressive start to his AFL career, with the Western Bulldogs extending the defensive playmaker's contract until the end of the 2021 season.

Selected with pick 16 in last year's NAB AFL Draft, Richards has helped fill the void across half-back after the retirements of club greats Robert Murphy and Matthew Boyd.

Since debuting in round two against West Coast, the 18-year-old has given the Dogs plenty of run and reliable ball use while averaging 14 disposals and three tackles per game.

Bulldogs list manager Sam Power said Richards had impressed all at Whitten Oval since his arrival back in November.

"Ed's been fantastic from the moment he arrived at the club," Power told westernbulldogs.com.au.

“We know he's quick and uses the footy well, but he's also a real competitor, which is important at this level. 

"The coaching group has been impressed with his professionalism and commitment to get better, and he's fitting in really well within the playing group.

"We look forward to watching Ed develop as a player and a person at our club over the next couple of years."

Richards is the grandson of Collingwood legend Ron Richards and grand-nephew of AFL icon Lou Richards.