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Ottawa Senators Sign Ben Harpur to Two-Year, One-Way Extension

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The defenceman has played 20 games this season.

NHL: Preseason-Ottawa Senators at Toronto Maple Leafs Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Sens announced a signing today, as 23-year-old defenceman Ben Harpur will be returning for two more seasons with a new, one-way contract extension. The deal has an average annual value of $725,000, paying him $650,000 in 2018-19 and $800,000 in 2019-20.

Harpur, who’s currently playing for the AHL’s Belleville Senators, has 31 games of NHL experience playing for Ottawa. Originally a 4th round pick in 2013, the defenceman stands out for his 6’6” stature, although he’s not overly physical. Instead, he gained notoriety for his steady puck-moving in during his first call-ups in 2015-16 and 2016-17, as he’s applied that in Belleville as their top minute-munching d-man.

Looking at his 20 NHL games so far this season, he’s played an average of 14:51 per game, which includes 1:43 per game on the penalty kill. His one point in 20 games is last amongst Sens defenders, while his 43.0% Corsi% doesn’t fare much better. Hopefully his AHL stats can start to translate, as his 9 points in 16 games exceeds his career-best points-per-game.

Harpur’s extension gives the Senators four defencemen on one-way contracts next season — six if you include Thomas Chabot plus a likely extension for Cody Ceci. Fredrik Claesson is scheduled to be a restricted free agent at season’s end, while Chris Wideman and Johnny Oduya are slated to hit the open market. The Sens’ blue line has become competitive for ice time, and Harpur’s extension adds another piece to the puzzle.