The Ottawa Senators have signed depth forward Jack Rodewald to a one-year, two-way contract for the 2019-20 season. The deal is worth $725K at the NHL level, and will keep him in the organization for at least one more year. Rodewald will be eligible for Group VI unrestricted free agency next summer should he fail to play in at least 70 NHL games this season.
Rodewald, 25, hasn’t been handed much in his professional career. Even his junior career got off to a terrible start when he recorded just 26 points through his first two seasons for the Regina Pats, before he eventually turned himself into a prime offensive option for the Moose Jaw Warriors. Undrafted, he needed to prove that ability again at the minor league level, but his first real opportunity wouldn’t come in the AHL. Instead Rodewald played his first full professional season with the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL, scoring 47 points in 62 games. He would impress at the Ottawa Senators training camp the following year and earn a spot in their minor league system. It still took until fall of 2017 to sign his first NHL contract, a deal that was now set to expire with just ten games played for Ottawa.
Still looking for his first NHL point, Rodewald nevertheless has developed himself into an excellent AHL performer just as he did at every level previous. Last season he recorded 23 goals and 47 points in 59 games for the Belleville Senators, trailing only top prospect Drake Batherson in scoring. While bringing that scoring touch to the NHL is still another huge step, it’s hard to write off a player who has come so far in such a short time. With another NHL contract in hand, he’ll push for a spot in Ottawa out of training camp, a team that should have plenty of opportunity available.