The Ottawa Senators have re-signed restricted free agent netminder Kevin Mandolese to a one-year, two-way contract, PuckPedia reports Tuesday. The 22-year-old’s new deal will carry a $775K cap hit and NHL salary and pay him $110K in the minors.
Mandolese made his NHL debut last season, posting a .916 save percentage in three games when injuries struck both Anton Forsberg and Cam Talbot near the end of the year. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound netminder now has three pro seasons under his belt, mostly bouncing between the AHL’s Belleville Senators and ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators and Allen Americans.
After posting strong numbers in limited ECHL time, Mandolese should compete for a true full-time role in Belleville next season. He’ll face some tough competition, though – 2019 second-round pick Mads Sogaard and 20-year-old Leevi Merilainen are also gunning for development time in the AHL and have higher ceilings than Mandolese.
In 43 games with Belleville over the past three seasons, Mandolese has an 18-19-3 record, a 3.40 goals-against average, and a .893 save percentage. Ottawa selected him 157th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft.
The deal comes in under his qualifying offer of $840K in the NHL, but his AHL salary is above the $70K he was due. He’ll be a restricted free agent next season, and he’ll be eligible for arbitration this time around.