The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced a two-year contract extension for Adam Clendening, keeping him in the organization through the 2020-21 season. Both seasons will carry a $700K cap hit at the NHL level, though the deal will be a two-way contract in 2019-20 and a one-way deal the following year. Clendening was set to be a restricted free agent this summer for the final time.
Still just 26, Clendening seems to have been around the league forever thanks to a long list of transactions in his relatively short career. Originally selected by the Chicago Blackhawks 36th overall in 2011, he played another season at Boston University before jumping into the AHL with a bang. The offensively gifted defenseman recorded 46 and 59 points in his first two professional seasons, before cracking the NHL in 2014-15. Unfortunately for Clendening that debut in the NHL was followed quickly by the first of many address changes as he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in January of 2015.
Clendening would eventually find himself on the roster of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, Arizona Coyotes and finally the Blue Jackets over the next several seasons, never quite finding a home that he could settle into. This two-year deal will hopefully bring some stability to a career that always seemed on the brink of a breakout given the ease in which he can move the puck and rack up points on the powerplay. In 2018-19 Clendening recorded 37 points in 45 games with the Cleveland Monsters of the AHL, but found himself in the NHL playoff lineup more often than not for the Blue Jackets at the end of the year. While he may not be a full-time member of that NHL blue line moving forward, there’s no doubt he’ll see at least a little bit of time if the team’s depth is tested.