Bob Murray continues to prove effective at drafting and signing in-house, home-grown talent. Ondrej Kase, who Murray drafted 205th overall in the 2014 NHL entry draft has become one of the Anaheim Ducks most effective and offensively productive forwards.
Kase finished second on the team in goals last season, potting 20 for the first time in his career, behind only Rickard Rakell for the team lead.
At 52.89 he led the Ducks in corsi for percentage and was on the ice for 36 goals and only 20 against.
The Orange County Register (Elliott Teaford
) is reporting that Kase, who up until now was a restricted free agent, has signed a three year contract worth an average of 2.6 million dollars per year.
Kase might be worth more.
He’s a steal at 2.6 million, just because it looks as though he’s very capable of repeat 20 goal seasons and being at least as good as he was in 2017-2018. The deal reflects the ambiguity of his ceiling, which we’ll likely see within the next three years. I tend to have a lot of faith in Kase as I’m expecting his game to get more refined and his offensive awareness to improve.
Having watched him play the last two seasons, I can see Kase getting 30 goal seasons, especially since he scored 20 last year in only 66 games.
The Ducks’ Offensive Future
His style of play is still hectic and unorganized at times, which I think keeps him from those higher numbers. But he’s still young, and now has a contract that both adequately rewards him for what he has already produced and gives him room to be a much larger piece of the Ducks offensive future.
For what it’s worth, I think Kase is a big part of the next generation of Anaheim forwards. As we start to see Perry, Kesler and Getzlaf function in reduced roles (some sooner than others), you’ll see more of guys like Rakell, Sam Steel and Kase taking on those bigger offensive roles.
My bet is that Ondrej will eventually sign a contract that makes 2.6 million seem like the good ol’ days.