According to reports, Buffalo will make last year’s second-leading scorer its second-highest paid forward.
The club is close to announcing an extension for current RFA Tyler Ennis, per NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes. Ennis, 24, will reportedly ink a five-year deal in the neighborhood of $23M — if accurate, it would give Ennis a $4.6M cap hit, putting him only behind Matt Moulson ($5 million annually) among Sabres forwards.
Ennis’ deal comes on the heels of a pretty solid ’13-14 campaign, in which he scored a career-high 21 goals in 80 games, finishing with 43 points (Cody Hodgson led the team with 44.) Ennis also logged a career-high 18:51 TOI per game last season and finished third on the team in total faceoffs taken, though had a lousy winning percentage (38.7).
His offensive production should further increase this season after GM Tim Murray’s big summer splash. Free agents Moulson and Brian Gionta, along with Sam Reinhart — the second overall pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft — should all improve facets of Buffalo’s offense, and a full season of a healthy Chris Stewart will likely translate into more goals as well.
As for confirmation of the Ennis deal, the Sabres weren’t confirming anything — per the Buffalo News — but the News’ Mike Harrington did have this to say:
As refresher Hodgson got 6 years and $25.5 million last summer with a $4.25 cap hit… Ennis will be in that ballpark certainly #Sabres
— Mike Harrington (@BNHarrington) July 16, 2014