Ottawa Receives Erik Gudbranson
One day after the NHL draft, the Ottawa Senators have acquired another defender. Gudbranson is a 28 year old, right-handed defender. The Ottawa native played 51 games at the NHL level between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ducks. In that time frame, Gudbranson scored four goals and five assists for nine total points. He has previously suited up for the Penguins, Ducks, Vancouver Canucks, and the Florida Panthers. The 2013 third overall pick has appeared in 518 games and scored 73 points. In 17 playoff games split between Florida and Pittsburgh he has tallied one point, a goal in the 2019 postseason for the Penguins.
Gudbranson is a defensive defender with little offensive upside. He had 76 hits with the Ducks last season in his 44 games with the club. Standing at 6′-5”, 217 pounds, he is a big bodied blue-liner with plenty of gas in the tank. He has the ability to play 20 minutes of ice time a game and can be crucial in slowing down offensive weapons from the opposing team. He is signed through next season at a $4 million AAV. Ottawa has an abundance of cap space with $38 million to spend. They need to get to the cap basement. This moves helps that.
What This Means for the Future
Ottawa has acquired three new defenders in the last week. Josh Brown, fifth-overall pick Jake Sanderson, and now Gudbranson. They are in no position to be making a playoff push, but with their recent moves the past few days, they look to be setting themselves up for a playoff appearance for the 2021-22 season. With newly acquired goaltender, Matt Murray, in-between the pipes, this team is taking a new form to complement their franchise rebranding.
The Senators have just under $40 million in cap space to work with this offseason. They have five restricted free agents to try to re-sign for next season, most notable of that group is Murray and forward Chris Tierney.