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Ottawa Senators Defenceman Jake Sanderson Signs Eight-Year Extension

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 02: Jake Sanderson #85 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on March 02, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

At the 2020 NHL Draft, the Ottawa Senators hit the jackpot when they selected centre Tim Stutzle and Jake Sanderson. Both were highly touted prospects, but both have been even better than advertised, on and off the ice.

 

And now both players have hit the jackpot at the bargaining table.

 

A year after Stutzle signed an eight-year extension with the club worth $8.35 million per season, it was Sanderson’s turn on Wednesday night. The former North Dakota star signed his own eight year pact, worth $8.05 million a season.

 

 

The extension kicks in next year and will make Sanderson the highest paid defenseman on the club, as he just sneaks past Thomas Chabot. Some might argue he’s done that on the depth chart as well. Chabot has 5 years left on his deal worth $8 million a year.

 

Sanderson was named to the NHL’s all rookie team this past season with 32 points in 77 games. But with a full season under his belt, there’s every reason to expect big things.

 

For example:

  • He’s now another year older and physically stronger.
  • He doesn’t have to worry about contracts for the next nine years
  • Any of the rookie uncertainty will certainly be gone, if there ever was any.
  • He’ll now be used to the huge NHL leap in pace and triple the number of games compared to his university days.
  • He’ll likely get more power play looks.
  • After seven goalies last year, things should be a lot more stable in the net behind him
  • He’ll probably play most of the time with Jakob Chychrun or Artem Zub, either of whom will be an upgrade on Travis Hamonic, his D partner through most of last season.

Eight million dollars a year doesn’t sound like a bargain but, for this player, it is – at least by NHL standards. By year three of the deal, with what’s going on around the league, it will look very club-friendly.

 

“Jake’s transition to the pro game has been flawless,” GM Pierre Dorion said in a club statement. “He’s a very mature young man who demonstrates a routine and skillful ability to play important minutes with poise. An effortless skater who holds himself to a high standard, he has the talent to be one of the best all-around defenseman in the NHL for years to come. We’re very pleased to have another significant member of our core group of players under long-term contract.”

 

The list of players currently signed to four years or more includes Sanderson (9), Stutzle (8), Josh Norris (7), Brady Tkachuk (5), Thomas Chabot (5), Joonas Korpisalo (5), Drake Batherson (4) and Artem Zub (4).

 

The Senators will soon need to re-sign restricted free agent Shane Pinto, who’s still without a contract for this season. Next summer, Vladimir Tarasenko and Dominik Kubalk will be UFAs and Jakob Chychrun Claude Giroux will be eligible for extensions.

 

But GM Pierre Dorion now has most of his young core in Ottawa locked up. His rebuild now truly appears to be done, and the Sens really did spend to the cap, as promised. Now it’s time to see whether their public vow of unparalleled success comes together or not.

 

By Steve Warne

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