Rudolfs Balcers is returning to the team that drafted him in 2015.
SJ claims Balcers— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 12, 2021
As first reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the 23 year-old forward was claimed by the San Jose Sharks, after being placed on waivers by the Ottawa Senators yesterday. The Sharks now inherit Balcers’ one-year, $735K deal. He remains waiver-eligible, and will be a restricted free agent at the season’s conclusion.
A native of Liepaja, Latvia, Balcers arrived in Ottawa by way of the Erik Karlsson trade - along with Josh Norris, Chris Tierney, Dylan DeMelo, and eventually Tim Stuetzle - in September of 2018. He has played all 51 of his NHL games with Ottawa over the past two seasons, scoring six goals and 11 assists.
In the American Hockey League, Balcers emphatically proved himself as a star forward. Over the course of 76 appearances with the Belleville Senators, he posted 33 goals and 34 assists for 67 points, and earned his second career AHL All-Star appearance last season.
Balcers will report directly to San Jose, but when he will be available to the team is unknown, due to restrictions surrounding immigration and quarantine. Should the Sharks attempt to send him to the San Jose Barracuda, or designate him to their taxi squad, Balcers will once again have to clear waivers. It should be noted that if this occurs, the Senators are first on the list of teams eligible to make a claim, and could potentially bring Balcers back to Ottawa.
Filip Chlapik, Christian Jaros, Matthew Peca, Logan Shaw, and J.C. Beaudin all cleared waivers.