The Ottawa Senators are busy working on their future as the trade deadline approaches, and have signed Ben Harpur to a two-year extension. The one-way deal is worth a total of $1.45MM, and will take him through the 2019-20 season. The salary breakdown is as follows:
- 2018-19: $650K
- 2019-20: $800K
Harpur, 23, was set to be a restricted free agent this summer after his entry-level deal expired. The fourth-round pick from 2013 has played just 31 NHL contests to this point, 20 of them coming this season as the team looked for an answer on their bottom pairing. Still looking for his first NHL goal, Harpur has collected two assists in his short career.
A rangy 6’6″ defenseman, Harpur has shown an ability to close gaps quickly with his long reach and aggressive play style. Though he can be caught out of position at times in the defensive end, his physical presence is a big factor and fits nicely into the way Ottawa likes their left-side defensemen to play. Whether he actually locks down a full-time position there is still to be seen.
The Senators have two defenseman hitting unrestricted free agency this summer in Johnny Oduya and Chris Wideman, along with new contracts owed to RFAs Cody Ceci and Fredrik Claesson. It’s unlikely that all four will be back, while others like Dion Phaneuf or even Erik Karlsson could be on the move before the beginning of next season. Harpur will hope his new one-way deal will make the Senators give him a chance, along with the fact that he will no longer be waiver-exempt next season.
Ottawa now heads into their next few weeks with one player locked up on the blue line, but several decisions still to make.