Were it not clear enough after they gave up the 95th overall pick to get him, the Ottawa Senators expect defenceman Josh Brown to figure into their immediate plans. The team signed their newest RFA acquisition to a two-year deal today, worth an AAV of $1.2M.
The deal will see Brown earn $1M in 2020-2021, and $1.4M in 2021-2022.
The hulking blueliner was acquired from the Florida Panthers on Friday, in exchange for Ottawa’s fourth-round choice in this year’s draft. Brown has played 93 games over the past two seasons with the Panthers, tallying three goals and five assists for eight points. He brings reinforcements to a right-handed defence core that only boats Nikita Zaitsev and Artem Zub, as of now.
Upon acquiring the London, Ontario native, Senators GM Pierre Dorion described Brown as “a big, strong defenceman who plays a physical style of game...He’s a defensive defenceman who skates very well and who is exceptionally competitive. He’s also a very good shot blocker who clears a lot of space in front of the net”.
Dorion also expressed excitement at seeing him in the Ottawa lineup; so couple that with the terms of the contract extension, and it seems like Brown won’t be spending much - if any - time in Belleville.
Brown is familiar with the Senators’ systems, having played for head coach D.J. Smith with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals, and winning the Memorial Cup in 2015.
In an interview with The Athletic’s Hailey Salvian, Brown expressed an affinity for Smith’s coaching style, and described how the Senators’ defensive schemes are better suited to his play-style than those of the Florida Panthers:
“I like to try and box out and win those physical battles with guys out front and not let people in front of the goalie,” he said. “That’s definitely more to my style. Nothing against Florida’s system, but I definitely think I would fit in more with D.J.’s style for sure.”
With Brown extended, the Senators now have 18 players with expiring contracts. While not all of them will be brought back, it’s going to be a busy few weeks for Dorion, with the 2020 NHL Entry Draft beginning on Tuesday night, and the opening of the free agency period on Friday, October 9th.