Ottawa Senators Sign Nick Paul

Nick Paul
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The Ottawa Senators have signed forward Nick Paul to a contract. The deal is for two years and will carry an average cap hit of $1.35 million. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reported the signing Wednesday afternoon.

NHL free agent frenzy

Senators Sign Nick Paul

Paul turned in a fine campaign for 2019-20 in his age-24 season. The big 6′-4″, 230 pound wing played in 56 games with nine goals, 20 points and 122 hits. Last year represented the most playing time he’d ever received by a wide margin. His previous high in games was just 24 as a rookie in 2015-16. Paul’s possession numbers weren’t good with a 46.9 Corsi For and -2.7 relative Corsi, but some of that was due to how the Sens deployed him. He started in the defensive zone 58 percent of the time, which was fourth among Ottawa forwards who played in double-digit games. It’s also possible Paul struggled in some advanced metrics because Ottawa just wasn’t very good.

The Dallas Stars originally drafted Paul in the fourth round of the 2013 Draft before trading him to Ottawa in 2014 as part of a deal for Jason Spezza. Paul only has 112 NHL games but has managed to post 13 goals and 28 points, which translates to an acceptable 0.25 points-per-game. Otherwise, he’s been perfectly fine with the Senators’ AHL affiliates. His AHL stats include 52 goals and 124 points in 270 games.

What This Means for the Future

Ottawa will be rebuilding for several more years, so Paul has a huge opportunity to make an impact right now. He is likely confined to the team’s bottom-six but he has excellent size and some scoring touch based on his time in the minors and 2019-20. The Sens might have a cheap, effective option in front of the net for their second power-play unit.

This signing leaves Ottawa with just over $26.44 million in remaining cap space. That is a huge figure that will be spent at some point. The team needs to spend roughly $5 million, at minimum, just to clear the league’s salary floor, so expect another few contracts in the coming weeks. Paul is just the beginning of what could be a mild spending spree.

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