Welcome Curtis Lazar to the trade rumor mill

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Curtis Lazar was not in the Senators lineup Tuesday against the Sabres, reportedly a healthy scratch for a fourth consecutive game.

This development has kick-started speculation about his future with the Senators, the team that selected him in the first round, 17th overall, of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Darren Dreger of TSN reported Tuesday evening that Lazar’s agent, J.P. Barry, will meet with Sens general manager Pierre Dorion this weekend, adding he wouldn’t be surprised if Lazar requests a trade.

Now 22 years old, Lazar is in the final year of his entry-level contract, with an annual average value of $1.254 million, per CapFriendly. He’s a restricted free agent at the end of this season.

Since breaking into the league in 2014, Lazar has never scored more than six goals in a single season. Last season, he hit 20 points, which is so far a career best for him.

This season started ominously enough for Lazar, who was absent from training camp after being diagnosed with mononucleosis. He was eventually sent down to the AHL, with Dorion saying in late October that it was best, at the time, for Lazar to play in the minors and continue to regain his confidence.

Since returning to the NHL in November, Lazar has struggled mightily to produce for the Senators, with only one assist in 29 games, while averaging just 8:23 of ice time per game and that includes minimal time on special teams, as well. He was also hurt in a game versus Pittsburgh in December.

So yeah, it’s been a difficult third season in the NHL for Lazar.