Weekly Question: What Should Anthony Duclair’s Next Contract Look Like?

The left winger is on pace for over forty goals and is due for a huge raise.

Whilst on his mission to rebuild the Ottawa Senators into a perennial cup contending team, GM Pierre Dorion has made several roster additions varying from great (Namestnikov, DeMelo), to alright (Tierney, Hainsey), to just plain awful (Boedker). However, one acquisition stands out as being in a class of his own, and his name is Anthony Duclair.

Once known as a dynamic forward prospect, Duclair never met the lofty expectations of a top-six forward with the Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks, or Columbus Blue Jackets. This culminated into him being added as a throw-in to a package of two 2nd rounders in a trade from Columbus to Ottawa, in exchange for Ryan Dzingel.

It looked like Duclair would struggle to get even a one-year deal in the offseason, but thanks to a combination of opportunity, a system that meshed perfectly with his style of play, and whatever the heck Craig Anderson used to revive his career in Ottawa, the Duke of Goalsbury has finally arrived to cement his place among the NHL’s premium snipers.

Duclair scored 8 goals and added 6 assists in 21 games with Ottawa after the trade, earning him a one-year deal worth 1.65 million. He’s now followed that impressive performance with 20 goals and 8 assists in 36 games this season...that’s a forty-five goal pace!

Will he score that many? No, but I’d bet on him potting at least thirty on the season. He’s registered 111 shots on goal in 36 games; assuming he keeps that pace and scores ten more goals in the process, he’ll end up with a shooting percentage of roughly 11.9%, which seems like a sustainable number for someone with offensive ability like this:

At this rate, Duclair, a pending RFA at the end of the year, will earn a raise on his next contract, which will vary depending on whether the Senators opt for a short-term or long-term deal. There’s more risk associated with a long-term deal, especially with a player like Duclair who’s just now starting to realize his potential, but at 24 years of age, I think his best years are still ahead of him. He’s worked hard to go from project to player, he's found the right fit with D.J. Smith in Ottawa and I think a long-term deal will see him produce like a top-six winger for at least five more years. Of course, a long-term deal would have to come with a reasonable salary for the Senators; I think 5.5 million per year on a five-year deal would be enough to secure his prime years in Ottawa.

That’s just my opinion, though. How do you think the Senators should approach Anthony Duclair’s next contract?

What should the Ottawa Senators do with Anthony Duclair?

Sign him to a long-term deal (4+ years)203
Sign him to a short-term deal (1-3 years)197
Take him to arbitration (Is an RFA at the end of next season)20
Trade him at the draft, deadline or offseason16

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