The Anaheim Ducks continued their successful offseason on Tuesday, inking RFA forward Devante Smith-Pelly to a two-year deal worth $1.6 million.
The contract, which will carry an annual $800,000 cap hit, is of the one-way variety and comes just four weeks after the Ducks agreed to terms with another talented RFA forward — Jakob Silfverberg — on a one-year, $850,500 deal.
Smith-Pelly, 22, is coming off a breakout playoff performance with Anaheim in which he led the team in goals, with five, and averaged close to 15 minutes a night. After struggling to find playing time during the regular season — he made just 19 appearances, but did score 10 points — the former second-round pick is now primed to be a key contributor for the Ducks, especially with the likes of veterans Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu and Daniel Winnik out of the picture.
As mentioned above, this is the latest solid move from Anaheim’s Bob Murray, the reigning GM of the year. He orchestrated the Ryan Kesler deal at the draft, signed Dany Healtley to a low-risk, low-cost deal and retained three of his brightest young forwards — Smith-Pelly, Silfverberg and Patrick Maroon — all with relatively inexpensive contracts. The trio will cost a combined $2.2 million next season (Maroon’s three-year, $6 million extension will kick in the season following.)