The Ottawa Senators landed an additional second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft when former star Erik Karlsson reportedly agreed to an extension with the San Jose Sharks earlier today. They have now made the most of another one of their big trades from this past season. Anthony Duclair, acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Ryan Dzingel trade, has agreed to a one-year contract extension, the team announced. The deal will pay Duclair $1.65MM next season, which could prove to be a bargain for the Senators. Duclair had been set for restricted free agency and held arbitration rights, but has opted to take Ottawa’s offer in hopes that he can re-establish his value next season.
Duclair, 23, has had an up-and-down career and has already made many stops since breaking into the NHL at 19. The New York Rangers draft pick failed to impress as a rookie and was traded to the Arizona Coyotes in 2015. He broke out that same year, recording 20 goals and 44 points. However, when his output dropped to just 15 points in 2016-17, the Coyotes did not hesitate to trade him the following season to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks opted not to qualify Duclair, who signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Columbus Blue Jackets last summer. Although Duclair was on pace for a bounce back season with Columbus, the team decided to move him at the deadline as part of their “all in” approach. Fortunately, he caught on quickly in Ottawa, registering 14 points in just 21 games.
The Senators hope that Duclair will again take advantage of the opportunity afforded to him on the young, inexperienced Ottawa roster. If he can keep up his scoring pace from late last season over the course of this next year, he could reach or even surpass his previous career high of 44 points. At just $1.65MM, that would be a tremendous value for the Sens. GM Pierre Dorion certainly likes what he sees, as the team’s press release states:
We were pleased with what Anthony was able to add to our lineup after his acquisition. This signing improves our team speed and scoring depth up front. Anthony’s speed and skill can be dynamic and at only 23 years old, we feel he has the chance to grow into a really consistent contributor.