This decision sets the team up for a promising future, building toward the creation of a younger, faster and stronger roster overall - characterized by a commitment to leadership, character and chemistry. Delivering two blue-chip prospects (including the 19th overall selection in the 2017 NHL draft), two current NHL roster players, one first round draft pick and one second-round pick (as well as two additional conditional draft picks), in exchange for Erik Karlsson and an AHL player - this deal leverages earlier decisions in the rebuild to deliver the largest pipeline of potential Ottawa has had in its system in the past 15 years.
While looking to the future with excitement and optimism, the franchise does wish to thank Erik Karlsson for his nine years of service.
"Erik is an exceptional hockey player whose skills delighted our fans for the past nine years," said general manager Pierre Dorion. "We thank him for his dedication to hockey, and we wish him all the best."
"This is the right moment for us to rebuild our team, and shape our future with a faster, younger and more competitive team on the ice," Dorion added. "We are going to build a culture of consistency which will allow this team to sustain better performance over the long term."
Detailed breakdown of the trade
The Senators acquired four players: centre Josh Norris (San Jose's 2017 19th overall draft choice), forward prospect Rudolfs Balcers, centre Chris Tierney and defenceman Dylan DeMelo.
The deal includes the following:
- Ottawa receives San Jose's first-round choice in either 2019 or 2020 (not lottery protected); if the Sharks miss the playoff in 2018-19 it will be a 2019 selection, otherwise it will be in 2020.
- Ottawa receives a second-round choice in the 2019 draft from San Jose (which will be the higher of the two picks the Sharks currently own, the Florida Panthers and their own);
The deal also includes two conditional picks:
- Should the Sharks sign Karlsson to a contract extension, Ottawa receives San Jose's second-round selection in 2021, which would upgrade to a first-round selection (not lottery protected) if San Jose reaches the Stanley Cup Final in 2019.
- If Karlsson is on an Eastern Conference roster (reserve list) during the 2018-19 season, the Senators will receive an additional first round pick from the Sharks no later than 2022.
The trade comes in exchange for Erik Karlsson and minor league player Francis Perron.
Meet the new Ottawa Senators
The Senators will introduce the players at Fan Fest on Sunday, Sept. 16. In the meantime, Hockey Operations provided the following insight into the new members of the Senators family.
Josh Norris: San Jose's first round pick (19th overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft. The 19-year old 6'1,192-pound centre had 8 goals and 23 points in 67 games with the NCAA's Michigan Wolverines in his freshman season, following a team-leading 26 points (12 goals) for the US National Under-18 team during his draft year.
The left-handed shooting native of Oxford, Mich., had three assists in seven games while winning a bronze medal for team USA at the 2018 World Junior Championship in Buffalo, playing alongside Brady Tkachuk. He recently attended USA Hockey's World Junior Showcase for players being evaluated to be part of the American entry in the WJC later this year.
"Josh is strong two-way centre who is a great skater and has a unique ability to produce offence. He brings a complete game to the table," said Pierre Dorion.
Rudolfs Balcers: The Sharks' fifth-round selection (142nd overall) in the 2015 draft, the 21-year old 5'11, 175-pound left winger led the AHL's San Jose Barracuda in both goals (23) and points (48) in his rookie season. He also attended the World Championship for his native Latvia, scoring four goals and six points in eight games.
As one of the top rookies in the AHL last season, Balcers is considered a key part of this deal. He brings high level skill and technical excellence to Ottawa's pool of exciting young talent. The native of Liepaja, Latvia, has also represented his country in both the under-20 and under-18 world championships.
"Rudolfs has excellent puck stills and possesses an outstanding shot, with a great release. He is a dynamic player that wants to have the puck and has exceptional quickness," said Pierre Dorion.
Chris Tierney: The 24-year old, 6'1, 195-pound left-hander immediately adds to the Ottawa Senators depth at Centre. He set career-highs in goals (17), assists (23) points (40) and shots (118) in 82 games with San Jose last season. He has scored 41 goals and added 63 assists for 104 points in 284 career NHL games, all with the Sharks.
The Sharks' second-round selection (55th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft, the Keswick, Ont., native signed a two-year contract last July. Tierney was San Jose's nominee for the 2018 King Clancy Trophy, awarded to "the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution to his community."
"Chris has everything we want in a Senator. He's talented, hard-working, and a strong leader. He is coming into his own as an NHL player and his best years are in front of him," said Pierre Dorion.
Dylan DeMelo: The 25-year old, 6'1, 195-pound right-handed defenceman, posted career highs in assists (20) and games (63) last season for San Jose while recording one assist while appearing in all 10 of the Sharks playoff games. Coming off of his best season, DeMelo provides depth in our defensive group.
DeMelo was San Jose's sixth-round selection (179th overall) in the 2011 draft. The London, Ont., native signed a two-year contract in July. He brings 133 games of NHL experience to the roster, and developed his game with a defensive-first mindset - something which the Senators are determined to establish during their rebuild.
"Dylan is a strong, determined player. He is a competitor and made significant strides last season. He will fit in well with our style of play," said Pierre Dorion.
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