The Ottawa Senators locked up cornerstone defenseman Jake Sanderson with an eight-year extension carrying an average annual value of $8.05 million, the team announced Wednesday.
Sanderson is entering the final year of his entry-level contract, so the extension kicks in next season.
“Jake’s transition to the pro game has been flawless,” general manager Pierre Dorion said. “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 defensemen 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.”
Sanderson was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie Team and finished sixth in Calder Trophy voting last season after tallying 32 points in 77 games. The 21-year-old logged the second-most minutes on the team behind Thomas Chabot, averaging 21:55 per contest. He posted decent underlying numbers, highlighted by a strong penalty differential.
The contract is also on track to make Sanderson the NHL’s 14th-highest paid defenseman, although he could be knocked down that list by the time the 2024-25 campaign rolls around. Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power (RFAs), and Devon Toews (UFA) are among those who could surpass Sanderson’s AAV.
The Senators selected Sanderson fifth overall at the 2020 NHL Draft out of the U.S. National Team Development Program. The Whitefish, Montana, native spent two years at North Dakota before turning pro.
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