The Ottawa Senators have locked up another key piece of their future.
Ottawa signed defenceman Jake Sanderson to an eight-year, US$64.4-million extension on Wednesday.
Sanderson, a 21-year-old American, had four goals and 28 assists in 77 games as a rookie with the Senators last season to rank second in scoring among the team’s blueliners.
He was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie Team on defence alongside Buffalo’s Owen Power.
“Jake’s transition to the pro game has been flawless,” said Senators general manager Pierre Dorion in a 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 defencemen 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 contract, which pays him $8.05-million annually, begins in 2024-25 and runs through 2031-32. Sanderson enters the upcoming season in the final year of his entry-level contract.
Sanderson is the latest young Senators player to sign a long-term contract with the franchise in recent years.
Defenceman Thomas Chabot started the trend by extending for eight years in 2019, captain Brady Tkachuk committed for seven years in 2021, and centres Tim Stutzle and Josh Norris signed eight-year pacts last off-season.
The contracts all fall between $7.95-million and $8.35-million.
Sanderson was picked fifth overall by Ottawa in the 2020 NHL draft.
Before entering the NHL, he played two seasons at the University of North Dakota. He also helped the United States win gold at the 2021 world junior hockey championship.