The Ottawa Senators have handed a nice Christmas gift to defenseman Artem Zub, signing him to a four-year extension. The deal is worth a total of $18.4MM ($4.6MM AAV) and will keep him in the organization through the 2026-27 season. Zub will hold a 10-team no-trade clause, and make the following:
- 2023-24: $4.0MM
- 2024-25: $4.8MM
- 2025-26: $4.8MM
- 2026-27: $4.8MM
Senators general manager Pierre Dorion released a statement on the deal:
Artem’s transition to North American hockey has been remarkable. He has worked hard to establish himself as an excellent NHL player and a strong defender. He consistently helps make us a better defensive team while he’s on the ice. We’re pleased to reach agreement with him on an extension of this length.
Zub, 27, came to the Senators in 2020, and has been arguably the most important defender on the team since the moment he arrived. While Thomas Chabot controls play and logs the biggest minutes, it is Zub that seems to make everything work. With him in the lineup, the team is so much better defensively, and he has chipped in a little bit of offense at the same time.
Last season he set a high-water mark of 22 points in 81 games, and was one of only three regulars to post a positive +/-. This year has been marred by two different injury issues, limiting him to just 14 games so far. In those, he is averaging more than 22 minutes and has four points.
It won’t get the headlines that some other extensions do, but locking up Zub is a very important step for the Senators. Given they are in the process of a sale, adding contracts to the books can sometimes be a tricky thing to pull off. Keeping Zub away from unrestricted free agency should only help the team as they attempt to turn the corner on their rebuild.