The Ottawa Senators are continuing their come-up by locking up their young defenseman until 2032.
Jake Sanderson, their former 5th overall pick, was signed to an eight-year contract extension that begins in the summer of 2024. The contract carries a total of $64.4 million, an average annual value of $8.05 million, paid in equal sums each season.
Sanderson is coming off an impressive rookie season, where he had 32 points and 147 blocks in 77 games. He was only behind Thomas Chabot in ice time, logging just shy of 22 minutes per game, and it helped him finish 6th in the Calder Trophy voting.
Interestingly, both Sanderson and Chabot’s deals look similar to each other. Chabot is getting paid $8 million per year on average, and while Sanderson has less NHL experience, the cap is only going up. While Sanderson has the higher cap hit, his cap percentage (9.62%) is actually below Chabot’s (9.82%).
Senators Lock Up and Important Piece to Their Core
All their five young core players in Canada’s capital are locked up at around a similar price point between Sanderson, Chabot, Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stützle, and Josh Norris. On average, their cap hit is $8.11 million, which gives them a strong foundation for the foreseeable future. They have $74 million used up in the salary cap for the 2024-25 season with 14 players under contract, with Vladimir Tarasenko’s $5 million cap hit set to come off the book.
Sanderson is a smooth-skating defenseman who is reliable on both ends of the ice. This is a great move for the Senators, though the risk here is that this is a lot of money and term after just one season.
The most significant part is that they are securing their future with this move. Teams like the Colorado Avalanche and the Tampa Bay Lightning have built through the Draft to win their Stanley Cups, and more teams are following up. Ottawa stockpiled their talent from the Draft and by trades. However, injuries and inconsistencies have seen them miss the playoffs last season.
Sanderson will have one more year at a $925k cap hit with performance bnouses of up to $1.85 million, but cap space is at a premium, since they have less than $900k to re-sign Shane Pinto and Egor Sokolov. The expectations for them, however, are to make the playoffs after signing Tarasenko and Joonas Korpisalo, and acquiring Dominik Kubalík in the Alex DeBrincat trade in the offseason.
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