Jake Sanderson signed an eight-year, $64.4 million contract with the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.

The contract, which has an average annual value of $8.05 million, will begin next season. It includes a 10-team no-trade clause that will be applicable to the final three seasons.

Sanderson, a 21-year-old defenseman who was selected by Ottawa with the No. 5 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, had 32 points (four goals, 28 assists) in 77 games last season and was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. He joins forwards Tim Stutzle and Brady Tkachuk, and defenseman Thomas Chabot as those committed to the Senators at least through the 2027-28 season.

"You see the core group of the guys signing here long term, so I wanted to be a part of that," Sanderson said Thursday. "You see the chemistry in the locker room, it's something that will be here for a while. We're going to win in the next couple of years. We know that and I want to be here for it.

"It fires me up. I have nothing but the upmost respect for (Senators general manager) Pierre Dorion and all the coaching staff. They've treated me great since they drafted me. That's all I can ask for."

NHL Tonight on Jake Sanderson contract extension news

Stutzle signed an eight-year, $66.8 million contract ($8.35 million AAV) on Sept. 7, 2022; Tkachuk signed a seven-year, $57.5 million contract ($8.214 million AAV) on Oct. 14, 2021; and Chabot signed an eight-year, $64 million contract ($8 million AAV) on Sept. 19, 2019.

The Senators are looking to Sanderson and their core to help them reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2017, when they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games in the Eastern Conference Final.

"Jake's transition to the pro game has been flawless," Dorion said. "He's a very mature young man who demonstrates a routine and skillful ability to play important minutes with poise. An effortless skater who holds himself to a high standard, he has the talent to be one of the best all-around defensemen in the NHL for years to come.

"We're very pleased to have another significant member of our core group of players under long-term contract."

Sanderson's 28 assists and 32 points last season each ranked third in Senators history by a rookie defenseman, behind Andrej Meszaros (29 assists, 39 points in 2005-06) and Karel Rachunek (30 assists, 33 points in 2000-01). Sanderson also was second among NHL rookies last season in total time on ice (1,687:52), average time on ice (21:55), power-play assists (15) and power-play points (17). He also was fourth in assists and fifth in shots on goal (132).

"I definitely worked on some stuff this summer that I want to show during the season to come," Sanderson said. "I feel like playoff teams get a lot of scoring from their defense; they help out the forwards. I want to score more. That's part of jumping in the rush, working on my shot, but also at the same time I was happy with where my defensive game was last year, so I want to take the next step. Whether it's [penalty kill] or playing against the top lines, I think I'm ready for it."

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