31-Year-Old Center – Dallas Stars
Jason Spezza Contract Information:
Signed a seven-year, $49 million contract extension with Ottawa in November of 2007.
The Senators have traded Spezza and Ludwig Karlsson to the Stars for Alex Chiasson, Alex Guptill, Nicholas Paul and a second-round draft pick in 2015, TSN.ca reports.
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|2013-14 Proj||30||NHL||DAL||68||Subscribe now to see our 2013-14 projections for Jason Spezza|
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Jason Spezza: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Like the rest of the Senators, Spezza had a fine bounceback season in 2011-12 with 34 goals and 50 assists in 80 games, a 27-point improvement over the previous year while once again playing at better than a point-per-game. This season should see more of the same from Ottawa’s number one center as head coach Paul MacLean’s puck possession game suits Spezza quite well. He'll likely start the year centering Milan Michalek on his left side, but his other winger might not be decided until after training camp, as there are a number of potential candidates. Expecting close to a point-per-game is reasonable based on Spezza's track record, with 35 goals being certainly achievable, as is a shot at 90 points.
Spezza is now unquestionably the focal point of Ottawa's offense for the rebuilding team. In addition to his scoring, Spezza is beginning to develop a more well-rounded game, having spent a lot of time on the penalty kill and being one of the better face-off men in the league during the 2010-11 season. He should see more than 20 minutes of ice time a game and, if he stays healthy, Spezza should put up around 70-80 points with around 25-30 goals.
Spezza should have a nice bounceback year in 2010-11. He'll get plenty of time on the Senators' first power play unit, and with the newly acquired Sergei Gonchar running the back end, Spezza could put up quite a few points with the man advantage. Thirty-five goals and 55 assists isn't out of the question, especially if he remains relatively healthy for the entire season.
The 2008-09 season could be described as a transition year for the 26-year-old center. Under Hartsburg's defensive system there was not much room for creativity and Spezza's numbers took a sharp decline. Although his passion for the game shouldn't be questioned, Spezza's defensive play was sub-par and he was committing too many turnovers. Under Clouston's guidance Spezza's play at both ends of the ice took a dramatic leap forward. No player's numbers improved as much as Spezza's under Clouston's reign, and the young center should have a very nice rebound year with 35 goals and 65 assists not being out of the question.
In many ways, the 2007-08 season was a step back for the talented center. He regressed defensively and displayed a disturbing knack for turning the puck over at key times - Spezza was second in the league with 96 turnovers. That being said, he did enjoy his best offensive season to date, notching 34 goals and 58 assists for 92 points. While not possessed with blazing speed, Spezza is slick with the puck and has that sixth sense for finding open shooters that all great playmaking centers have. Expect to see Spezza improve on both his point totals (40 goals is not out of the question) and his defensive game with the help of head coach Craig Hartsburg.
If Spezza can stay healthy this year, he's got a good chance at challenging for an NHL scoring title. With his maturing defensive awareness, Spezza is slowly turning into a well-rounded and dangerous NHL blue-chip center. He should net close to 40 goals this year with 60+ assists and a strong plus-minus rating.
If Spezza shoots the puck more this season as Murray wishes, the center could put up 30-plus goals easily. This year should further prove Spezza’s skills, so don’t be surprised to see him post 110-plus points if he remains healthy. He is already one of the elite centers in the league and should be near the top of most poolies’ lists.
Spezza will center either the first or second line and thus will play with at least one of the dynamic Alfie-Heatley-Havlat trio. Add the fact that he'll center the first power play unit and you can see why we're looking at least 65 points from the former Islander pick.