The Ottawa Senators have announced the recall of defenseman Jacob Larsson from the team’s AHL affiliate, the Belleville Senators. The move adds a seventh defenseman to the Senators’ roster and leaves the team with a full active 23-man unit.
Larsson, 25, heads to the Senators’ roster with a chance to play in some more NHL games. He’s gotten three games in Ottawa so far this season, averaged just under 13 minutes of ice time in those games. The 2015 first-round pick arrived in Ottawa over the summer, signing a one-year, two-way league minimum deal with a relatively hefty $300K AHL salary.
Larsson’s play in the AHL has been somewhat uneven. While he’s managed to contribute on both special teams, he hasn’t been able to have the top-of-the-lineup impact many would hope he’d have at this stage of his career in the AHL. He’s scored nine points in 33 games this season, and as can be seen here is often playing on Belleville’s bottom pairing.
In Ottawa, the Senators are hoping to put together a quality run of games to get them into the playoff hunt so they can play meaningful hockey in the spring. While this recall of Larsson adds a seventh defenseman to their roster which gives them some valuable reinforcement, the team is likely better off if Larsson remains depth rather than a counted-on contributor to coach D.J. Smith’s blueline equation.
For Larsson, this recall presents an opportunity. While his AHL performance isn’t going to wow people, strong performance on an NHL stage could go a long way toward earning him his next contract. As things currently stand, the Senators will have a chance to retain Larsson beyond this season as he’ll be an arbitration-eligible restricted free agent.