The Ottawa Senators were hoping to get a better return for Curtis Lazar than a second-round pick, but it seems that offer never came. The Calgary Flames have acquired Lazar and Mike Kostka for their 2017 second-rounder and defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka.
After months of speculation due to an inferred poor fit and a drop-off in production, the Senators have finally moved on from their promising 21-year-old forward. Lazar was the 17th overall pick in 2013 and Ottawa had high hopes for his career. Lazar broke into the NHL in 2014-15 and over the past two seasons he accumulated 35 points in 141 games. However, 2016-17 has been a different story, as Lazar has hit a wall in his development and has struggled to fit in with the team’s system. He has just one assist in 33 games and Ottawa has been frustrated over his lack of production.
In a new location, especially with the speedy Flames, Lazar can still be a great player. Lazar has mostly played right wing in Ottawa, but prefers to play center, and Calgary has all lefties down the middle. Lazar, even if it’s not until 2017-18, should eventually slot in nicely as a right-handed center for the Flames who can keep up with their fast, skilled forwards. To give a talented young player a fresh start, an investment of a second-round pick and a young defenseman who has not worked out is certainly a good deal for Calgary and GM Brad Treliving. For Ottawa, they simply took the best offer they could get for a player who clearly needed to move on.