The Ottawa Senators have signed one of their 2019 draft picks, inking Mark Kastelic to a three-year entry-level contract. Kastelic spent the 2019-20 season with the Calgary Hitmen as an overage WHL player, meaning he’ll be able to go right to the AHL later this year. Senators GM Pierre Dorion explained just why the team has signed Kastelic:
Since being drafted just last June, Mark has worked hard to earn this contract. We were pleased to see how he progressed in his overage season in Calgary, where he served as Hitmen captain for two consecutive seasons, and where he was on track to post his most productive major junior season. He’s a solid two-way centre who shows strong attention to detail in his play.
Kastelic, 21, wasn’t picked in his first two years of draft eligibility but after an outstanding 2018-19 season with the Hitmen which saw him score 47 goals in 66 games, the Senators took a chance on the hard-working forward. Standing 6’3″ 220-lbs he’s almost as big as his dad Ed Kastelic, who played 220 NHL games with the Washington Capitals and Hartford Whalers, racking up 719 penalty minutes in the process.
The captain of the Hitmen for the past two seasons, Kastelic now represents a depth addition for the Senators but it is hard to count out some future NHL time. He’s scratched and clawed to earn himself a big-league contract, now he’ll have to work even harder to climb the ranks.