The Ottawa Senators have completed a bit of work on draft day, signing Dillon Heatherington to a two-year, two-way extension. The deal will carry an average annual value of $762.5K, paying him $750K at the NHL level in 2022-23, and $775K in 2023-24. The contract also includes minor league salaries of $325K in both years.
Senators general manager Pierre Dorion released the following statement:
Dillon’s leadership this season was key to helping our defensive prospects in Belleville grow as players. He was a player we quickly identified that would be key to Belleville’s success moving forward. He filled in capably for us in Ottawa last year and showed us he has the smarts and high hockey IQ necessary to be an NHL defenceman.
Heatherington, 27, has just 20 games of NHL experience under his belt and would have been an unrestricted free agent in a few days. Instead, he’ll stick around in Belleville, where he racked up 13 points in 45 games this season. While he may also get a handful of games with the NHL club, there are a number of players ahead of him on the depth chart, meaning this is a move for AHL depth more than anything.
Though he’s never had a one-way deal in his career, the two-year term of this new contract will provide Heatherington with some career stability. It also comes with a very healthy minor league salary, a raise over the $250K he made last season.