Getting Erik Karlsson’s signature on a long-term deal was priority number one for Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray this off-season, and now with that done ahead of the NHL draft he can focus on building the club’s future now that he has taken care of their present.
The deal carries a very palatable $6.5 million cap hit which will leave Murray room to maneuver this summer whether he decides to add to the club through the trade market, or free agency.
It is clear that Karlsson left money on the table which is key for the Senators moving forward.
Senators owner Eugene Melnyk had this to say about the Karlsson signing in a press release:
“We are extremely pleased to announce that Erik Karlsson’s contract has been extended for seven more years.”
“Erik is the type of player and person that embodies an Ottawa Senator, and we are confident that on a personal basis, he will quickly become a role model for many of our young Sens fans and a great contributor to our community. We feel strongly that this long-term commitment will be great for both sides. As one of the cornerstones of our franchise, Erik will be a large part of the future success that Senators fans can look forward to.”
Karlsson is coming off a breakout season that saw him score 78 points, including 19 goals, good enough to finish in the top-ten in NHL scoring. Something that a defenseman hadn’t done in two decades.
The Senators 22 year-old defender is currently in Las Vegas where he is one of three finalist for the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman.
With the new deal will come even greater expectations on Karlsson to continue to refine his two way game and help his young squad improve on last year’s surprising season.