The Ottawa Senators announced this morning that they have reached an agreement with Mark Kastelic on a two-year extension with an AAV of $835k. The Sens drafted Kastelic in the fifth round of the 2019 draft as a 20 year old, and the big man has rapidly progressed through the organization ever since.
Kastelic has earned DJ Smith’s trust for his reliable defensive play, physicality, and dominance in the face-off circle; his outrageous 71.15 FO% this young season has helped him earn the opportunity to take crucial defensive zone draws late in close games. Smith has also described his line, along with Parker Kelly and Austin Watson, as the team’s “identity”.
Though nominally still a rookie, Kastelic will be 24 before the season over and has already been playing professional hockey for several years. He’s closer to a veteran than a prospect, and what you see is likely what you get at this stage. That said, he did show off a bit of goal-scoring flair in his last two seasons in the WHL and he’s potted two to start this year’s campaign. You could certainly do a lot worse for a fourth line centre, and for the price and term it’s hard to see too much of a downside here. With this deal in hand, we can expected Kastelic to be a fixture on the team’s fourth line for the next few years.
The team posted a nice behind the scenes look at Kastelic putting pen to paper: