OTTAWA - The Ottawa Senators announced today that the team has signed forward Rudolfs Balcers to a one-year, two-way contract. The agreement holds a value $735,000 in the National Hockey League and $70,000 in the American Hockey League.
A native of Liepaja, Latvia, Balcers, 23, was limited to only 15 NHL games in 2019-20 after sustaining an MCL injury in a pre-season contest at Vancouver on Sept. 25. He began the season with Ottawa's AHL affiliate, the Belleville Senators, and tied for fifth among B-Sens in scoring with 36 points (16 goals, 20 assists), and tied for second in plus/minus (+20), despite appearing in only 33 of the team's 63 games. He recorded three points (one goal, two assists) over 15 games with Ottawa.
"Despite a discouraging injury at the start to the year, Rudolfs battled back to become an important contributor to Belleville's success last season," said Senators general manager Pierre Dorion. "He's a dynamic player with a great release, who's quick and who has good skill. We're confident that he'll set out to prove that he's overcome last year's setback to be a full-time player in Ottawa."
Selected by San Jose with the team's second fifth-round pick (142nd overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft, Balcers was acquired by Ottawa via trade with the Sharks on Sept. 13, 2018. He has recorded 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) and 10 penalty minutes over 51 NHL contests (all of which have occurred with Ottawa). He has also tallied 115 points (56 goals, 59 assists) and 30 penalty minutes over 143 AHL games with the San Jose Barracuda and Belleville.
Internationally, Balcers has represented Lativa on several occasions, including the 2018 and 2019 IIHF World Championship where he led his team in scoring in both tournaments with six points (four goals, two assists) over eight games and nine points (one goal, eight assists) over seven contests, respectively.
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