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Senators Make Smart Bet With Jake Sanderson Extension

The Ottawa Senators might have taken a risk by signing Jake Sanderson to a long-term deal so quickly, but it’s a calculated one.

Out of nowhere, the Ottawa Senators made big news on Wednesday, locking in their future on the blue line by signing defenseman Jake Sanderson to an eight-year contract worth $64 million, set to begin in the 2024-25 season. The deal comes as Sanderson still has one year remaining on his entry-level contract, ensuring his presence in Ottawa for a total of nine years.

Despite being only 21 years old and having played just 77 games in the NHL, Sanderson’s talent and potential have not gone unnoticed. His exceptional skating ability, impeccable puck-moving skills, and solid defensive play have already made a significant impact on the Senators’ lineup. Sanderson’s offensive capabilities are still untapped, hinting at even greater potential for the young defenseman. As Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic noted, “Sanderson isn’t an $8M defenseman yet, but he should get there halfway through his new extension. A relatively fair deal (by UFA standards) that banks on his immense potential.”

With this new deal, Jake Sanderson becomes the highest-paid defenseman on the Senators’ roster for the 2024-25 season. However, the organization and fans alike are confident that the investment is well worth it. Sanderson’s rapid development and all-around skills make him a valuable asset for Ottawa, and it is believed that he will be a bargain as his career progresses. Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun was on TSN and noted that the plan for Sanderson is to bypass Thomas Chabot as the No. 1 defenseman on the Senators roster in a short period of time, playing in all situations and taking the really big minutes. He adds that the team didn’t want to mess around with negotiations next summer when Sanderson was an RFA. They wanted this deal done, and they got it done.

Related: Rasmus Dahlin Nears Monster Extension with Sabres [Report]

The Senators Have Locked Up Their Core

This contract extension solidifies Ottawa’s commitment to its young core of talent, which includes players like Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stützle, Josh Norris, Erik Brännström, and Chabot. Sanderson will join this talented group as the fifth player on the roster with an annual average value (AAV) of $8 million.

Jake Sanderson Ottawa Senators extension
Jake Sanderson Ottawa Senators extension

Senators fans are overwhelmingly positive about the move, viewing it as a smart long-term investment. Sanderson’s elite skating and polished defensive abilities, coupled with his young age, make him a player with tremendous potential to exceed expectations. It might seem like a small sample size in which to make such a huge decision, but this deal has the potential to look like a steal in two or three seasons.

In a league where young talent is highly sought after, the Ottawa Senators have made a bold statement by securing Jake Sanderson’s services for the long term. This calculated bet on the young defenseman is expected to pay off handsomely as he continues to develop and evolve his game, making him a cornerstone of the Senators’ blue line for years to come.

Next: Three Things Maple Leafs’ GM Treliving Did Right this Offseason

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