Ottawa Senators Sign Erik Brännström and Jacob Bernard-Docker

The Senators get a few easy deals out of the way early.

Pierre Dorion began free agency this morning by checking a few RFA negotiations off their list, signing defensemen Erik Brännström and Jacob Bernard-Docker to new deals.

Brännström's is a one-year deal worth $2M, while JBD's is a two-year deal with a cap hit of $805k, and appears to be one-way in both years. In JBD's case, while the dollars are not a big step up, the one-way virtually guarantees the rearguard will start the season in Ottawa and see meaningful time in the nation's capital.

Brännström, 23, took a massive step forward at both ends of the ice this past season in a third-pairing role, with 18 points in 74 points to boot. He's also stepped up in place of injured players, contributing in the top four when necessary, finding success with Artem Zub, and in a smaller sample size, Jakob Chychrun. Given the past injury issues of both Thomas Chabot and the aforementioned Chychrun, it seems quite possible that Brännström will once again be asked to step in on the top two pairs. For $2M, that typeof player is great value.

A one-year deal for an RFA is often a sign that a team isn't ready to commit long-term, but in Ottawa's case, they're also limited by their cap space and the ongoing negotiations with fellow RFAs Shane Pinto and Alex DeBrincat.

Bernard-Docker, who turned 23 yesterday, split time between Ottawa (1 assist in 19 games) and Belleville (2 goals and 4 assists in 41 games), and while he's never stood out in terms of production, he was reliable on the back end for both Troy Mann and David Bell, and saw a great deal of success on the big club with fellow Fighting Hawk Tyler Kleven down the stretch.

JBD will presumably join Brännström on Ottawa's roster in September, and if he can lock down a third-pairing role, he'd do so at a bargain price, which is valuable for any team, let alone one with multiple star players in the early stages of long-term deals.

Stay tuned, we'll have you covered if  Dorion has more moves up his sleeve

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