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Blue Jackets sign Anthony Duclair

July 5, 2018, 5:04 PM ET [8 Comments]
Paul Berthelot
Columbus Blue Jackets Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
After a bit of confusion earlier this afternoon it’s been confirmed that the Blue Jackets have signed Anthony Duclair to a one-year deal worth $650,000.

Duclair takes the same cheap deal that Sam Gagner did, as he hopes to rebuild his value. Duclair was a former top prospect for the Rangers and was the key piece of the trade that brought Keith Yandle to New York. Duclair had 20 goals and 44 points his first season in Arizona and looked like a piece they could build around for years. However two disappointing seasons and a trade to Chicago followed and Duclair, still only 22 years old found himself a free agent.

Duclair had 23 points in 56 games last season split between Arizona and Chicago, which is nothing to write home about. His underlying numbers look much better and show that maybe he can get back to being that 40 point player that he was.

Duclair is a good skater and it shows with his entry and exit numbers. He can carry the puck and shows a pretty even split between playmaking and shooting. He will be great asset for the bottom six and has upside for more. Much like Gagner this deal is a low risk, big reward.

When he’s on the ice his teams see an increase in shots and an increase in goals. He’s not a great defensive player by any means but the Jackets have the luxury of being able to shelter him. John Tortorella has no issues sheltering a poor defensive player, as we saw with Gagner and with Thomas Vanek this past season. Torts does a very good job at putting players in the best spot for them to succeed.

Between Duclair and Riley Nash the Jackets have made some cheap but strong upgrades to their bottom six. In today’s NHL you need to have speed and skill throughout your line-up and the Jackets have just that. Duclair brings that and is going to be motivated to prove himself.

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