37-Year-Old Center – Free Agent
Eric Belanger Contract Information:
Signed a one-year deal with KHL Yekaterinburg in July of 2013.
Belanger has signed a one-year contract with Yekaterinburg of the KHL, RDS' Renaud Lavoie reports.
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Eric Belanger: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Eric Belanger.
Belanger has to be considered a disappointment after his first season with the Oilers. He only scored four goals after averaging 13 over the past five seasons, but he did excel in faceoff percentage, winning over 55 percent of his draws. This is a skill that does come in handy late in games especially with the Oilers acquiring more and more talent each and every offseason. He should pivot the fourth line this season.
The Oilers signed Belanger to a three-year, $5.25 million contact for one big reason - he wins faceoffs. The Oilers didn't have a faceoff specialist on their roster and felt the need to acquire one. Belanger is also capable of scoring a few goals as he has averaged close to 15 scores per season over the past six years.
Belanger was acquired at the trade deadline to bring some depth and leadership to the center position. He was far less productive than the Caps hoped, tallying six (2 G, 4 A) points over 17 games in Washington. He will be looked upon this year to provide the same value and man one of the top three lines (likely the checking line). As a result, he's a fringe option beyond deeper leagues because of his lack of top-six minutes.
Belanger had just 36 points for the Wild last season. At 31 years of age, his production certainly is expected to increase; a best case scenario would for it to hold steady for the next year or two. He's projected to center the Wild's fourth line this season.
Belanger will compete with Mikko Koivu and James Sheppard to center one of the top two lines. Belanger has upside if used in a non-defensive role. He scored 32 of 37 points last year on the top two lines, but scored just four points after January when he was moved to a checking role.
Belanger is a gritty and solid two-way center that will probably play on the Wild's third line. He gives the Wild the faceoff specialist they lacked last year.
He'll be the center for the checking/energy line, but with lack of talent on the team could be moved into a new role. 30 to 40 points is a good possibility for him this season.
He's in line with all the other centers on the Kings depth chart, and it doesn't appear that he'll make the team out of training camp. Belanger probably will be the first call up for the Kings if someone is injured or underperforms.