The Ottawa Senators have signed RFA, left-hand shot defenceman Erik Brännström to a one-year $2 million contract. General Manager Pierre Dorion announced to wrap up an extra layer of insulation of defence. For Brännström, he seemed to show a glimpse of the skating abilities everyone had hoped for in the latest NHL season. You may recall Brännström was the key return in the 2019 Mark Stone deal.
Erik Brännström Signs Extension with the Ottawa Senators
Brännström was originally a 15th overall draft pick by the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017. He made his NHL debut as a member of the Ottawa Senators back in 2018-19. Since that time he has amassed 190 career games, registering four goals, and 45 assists for 49 points. One may point to his lack of production. However, consider through his career he only has 273 career power-play minutes. As an extreme counter-example, Erik Karlsson tallied 278.4 minutes for the San Jose Sharks last year. It is a general consensus, given Brännström’s skating, he would produce much more given power play opportunity. Hopefully with the assurance of this contract, the team feels confident giving Brännström the opportunities and he takes advantage of them.
What Does This Mean in the Organization
For the Ottawa defence corps, “Branny” as he is affectionately known is a versatile, role piece. The news that Erik Brännström signs is underrated. He is a strong skater, not afraid to take a hit, and great at puck retrieval. Therefore, he helps supplement some of the more defensive types like Artem Zub or youngster Tyler Kleven. The Ottawa D is now loaded with star power since the 2023 trade deadline acquisition of Jakob Chychrun. Furthermore, the signing of Branny helps to shore up the depth. It gives the Sens at least seven solid options ahead of training camp. Having depth on the backend is a must for teams thinking of the postseason, and the Sens fit that description.
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