The Ottawa Senators have made their first major splash of the free agency period, signing Russian forward Evgenii Dadonov to a three-year deal, worth an AAV of $5M.
The 31 year-old right-winger has scored 81 goals over the past three seasons, to go with a total of 182 points in 225 games with the Florida Panthers. Dadonov will earn $3.5M in year one, $5M in year two, and $6.5M in year three. He will also have a 10-team no-trade clause.
In a press release issued by the team, Pierre Dorion spoke about the newest member of the Ottawa Senators:
“We’re thrilled to have come to an agreement with Evgenii...He’s an elite offensive talent and a very consistent scorer as demonstrated by his point totals over the last three seasons. This is a key signing for us as it adds a player who will help us produce offensively and one with a proven track record on the power-play.”
Drafted 71st overall by the Panthers in 2007, Dadonov has gone back and forth between the KHL and North America during his career, but settled in as a member of the Panthers during the 2017-18 season, posting 65 points in 74 games. In three full NHL seasons, Dadonov has never scored less than 25 goals.
Dadonov fills a major need for the Ottawa Senators. Their right wing situation was thin, but they now have their bonafide top-six option, which will allow them to slot Drake Batherson, Connor Brown, and Austin Watson accordingly.
Perhaps the best news for fans of the Senators, is that Dadonov - one of the top free agents on the market - reportedly had a variety of options, but chose to come to Ottawa. It’s long been a subject of debate with regards to whether or not players are willing to play in the capital of their own volition, so one of this year’s marquee guys choosing Ottawa is massive.
Dadanov had options. Was initially contacted by 10 teams. Got to a shortlist of 3 and chose Ottawa. Has scored 25-plus in last three seasons #Sens— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) October 15, 2020
This is a huge, and perhaps unexpected splash from Pierre Dorion and the Senators. To make matters even more interesting, however, it seems like this may not be the final move they make during free agency:
And I don't think the Senators are done this off-season, there's a few more moves potentially— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 15, 2020
Buckle up, folks.