As news broke of the Evgenii Dadonov signing Friday afternoon, Dorion did not take any time off, heading into the weekend. Two key RFA’s that are sure to be huge building blocks for the future of this organization have been locked up.
On Saturday, the Ottawa Senators announced that forward Rudolf’s Balcers had been signed to a one year, two-way contract. The agreement holds a value of $735, 000 in the National Hockey League and $70,000 in the American Hockey League.
Originally selected by San Jose Sharks with the team’s second fifth-round pick (142nd overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft, Balcers was acquired by Ottawa via trade, that saw star defenseman Erik Karlsson dealt the other way. Balcers has recorded 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists) and 10 penalty minutes over 51 NHL contests, all of which have been as a member of the Senators.
A native of Liepaja, Latvia, Balcers, 23 was unfortunately limited to only 15 NHL games in 2019/2020 after sustaining an MCL injury in a pre-season contest against Vancouver on September 25th. Balcers began the season with Ottawa’s AHL affiliate, the Belleville Senators and tied for fifth among players 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 (1 goal, 2 assists) over 15 games with Ottawa.
“Balcers is a dynamic player with a great release”, said Senators general manager Pierre Dorion. Balcers will get an opportunity to prove himself to the organization, and it seems as though Dorion and the coaching staff are confident that Balcers‘ is able to overcome last year’s set back and is ready to be a full-time player in Ottawa.
On Sunday, the Ottawa Senators announced that the club had signed goaltender Joey Daccord to a three-year contract. The first (two-way) year of the contract will carry an annual value of $700,000 in the National Hokey League and $175,000 in the American Hockey League, while the second (two-way) year carries an annual value of $750,000 in the NHL and $300,000 in the AHL. The third season, which is a one-way agreement has an annual value of $800,00.
Drafted in the seventh round (199th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft, the North Andover, Mass native has only played one NHL game, where he made 35 saves in a 5-2 loss in Buffalo on April 4th, 2019. Daccord spent most of the 2019-20 campaign with the AHL’s Belleville Senators, where he tied for the B-Sens’ lead in wins (15) while registering team-bests in goals against average (2.60) and in save percentage (.915) over 24 games. He also posted one shutout victory in what was his first professional season.
Dorion views Daccord as a “big, athletic goalie and an excellent puck handler who exudes the necessary confidence to compete at the highest level”. Dorion and the rest of the management team are very pleased with Joey’s development and it is evident that they view him as one of the top goaltenders in a system already stacked with goalie prospects.
With newly acquired goaltender Matt Murray and Marcus Hogberg set as the tandem for this coming year, Daccord will get an opportunity to be the starter down in Belleville once the AHL season starts up. If all goes well for his development, Dorion and Joey are banking on 22/23 being the season where he can potentially become a tandem with Murray for the big club, as seen from the third year of the contract being a one-way deal.