Drake Batherson Re-Signed by Ottawa Senators

Drake Batherson re-signed
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The Ottawa Senators have announced that they have re-signed restricted free agent forward Drake Batherson to a six year contract worth $29.85 million (4.975 million AAV). It is his first contract since signing his entry-level deal in 2017. The agreement will keep him under contract through the 2026-27 season.

NHL free agent frenzy

Drake Batherson Re-Signs with the Ottawa Senators

The Senators originally selected Batherson 121st overall in the fourth round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. They would then sign him to an entry-level contract a few months later prior to the start of what would be his final season in junior. Batherson made the Sens brass look smart that year. He compiled 77 points in 51 games and led all players in playoffs scoring with 33 points.

Batherson earned a promotion to the AHL for the start of the 2018-19 season. He had 20 points in 14 games for Belleville before getting called up to the big club on November 15. He scored on his first shot which would stand as the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Despite playing well, the Senators sent Batherson down to the minors about a month later. The following season was similar, bouncing between the NHL and AHL. Although he played in 43 NHL games over those two years, he had a lot of success with Belleville. He broke the franchise record for most goals scored in a season by a rookie and was an AHL all-star in 2019.

Batherson had clearly earned a chance to prove he could be a regular forward with the Senators. They gave that to him this past season. The right-winger cracked the opening night roster and maintained a spot for the entirety of the year. He would continue to out-perform his draft position, scoring 17 goals and 17 assists for 34 points. Eight of his 17 goals were scored over a six-game stretch, tying a franchise record with Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Bob Kudelski for most consecutive games with at least one goal. To this point in his young career, Batherson has 23 goals and 30 assists for 53 points. Assuming health, he will play in his 100th career game in Ottawa’s season opener in October.

What This Means for the Future

The Ottawa Senators had a slow start to the season but rallied with a 14-10-4 record in the second half to finish with 51 points – 23rd in the overall league standings. It’s a sign that the team is moving in the right direction. Locking up Batherson is just another step in that direction. The future is unquestionably bright for both parties. With 102 hits last season, it’s obvious that Batherson is willing and able to play the hard-nosed, fast-paced hockey head coach D.J. Smith is trying to implement in his team. The 23-year-old is a significant piece of a promising young group that includes Brady Tkachuk, Joshua Norris, Tim Stutzle and Thomas Chabot, to name a few. Batherson will be looked at as a go-to goal scorer over the course of this contract as he continues to grow within the young core in Ottawa.

 

Main Photo:

TORONTO, ON – OCTOBER 02: Drake Batherson #19 of the Ottawa Senators warms up prior to an NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on October 2, 2019, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)