The Ottawa Senators have acquired Derek Stepan from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a 2021 second-round pick, the team confirmed Saturday.
Ottawa isn’t trading its own second-round pick, but the pick that originally belonged to Columbus, which was acquired in a February 2019 trade that featured Anthony Duclair.
Stepan recorded 10 goals and 28 points in 72 games with the Coyotes in 2019-20, his worst offensive output since the 2012-13 campaign, when he was with the New York Rangers. Although Stepan has trended downward offensively for several seasons, he will almost certainly feature as a top-six option for a Senators team that is stockpiling top prospects, some of whom are still long away from the NHL, and could unseat Colin White or Chris Tierney for a spot on the first line.
The veteran center carries a $6.5 million cap hit into the upcoming season, the final year of his existing deal, before he’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2021 campaign. However, most of Stepan’s cap hit was carried through a signing bonus, and he’s only owed $2 million in salary.
"Derek's acquisition provides us with important stability at centre heading into the season," Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said in an official statement. "He plays a 200-foot game and has proven to be a reliable special teams' player throughout his career. His addition to our lineup will also represent a valuable leadership presence within our group.
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