25-Year-Old Center – Free Agent
Stephane Da Costa Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Senators in August 2013.
Da Costa isn't expected to be offered a one-way contract by the Senators, which means he'll likely end up in the KHL next season, TSN's Bob McKenzie reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The young forward has seen limited NHL action, playing in just 35 games over the last three seasons, but that probably means the Senators think he's worth considering forward. He'll probably get a look for a few games again this season, but he's probably not worth picking up until he really secures a roster spot with the big club.
The highly touted college free agent, signed by Ottawa in March of 2011, had a relatively solid start to his professional career. He began his rookie season with Ottawa, playing in 22 games, picking up three goals and two assists. It was clear though that he had a lot to learn at the NHL level and was simply not strong enough to handle the day-to-day grind of NHL games. With the Binghamton Senators of the AHL, DaCosta started to show signs of why Ottawa wanted him as a college free agent. In 46 games, he registered 13 goals, 23 assists and a minus-12 rating. Da Costa will need to come into camp much stronger than last year and show more consistency in his overall game. With Ottawa's acquisition of Kyle Turris, DaCosta has been bumped down the depth chart in Ottawa and will likely have a hard time finding minutes with the big club unless a rash of injuries strikes Ottawa's top-six forwards. He signed a one-year contract extension in the off-season and has a lot of room to grow. He's only 23-years old and should spend most, if not all, of the 2012-13 season playing down on the farm.
Da Costa will likely spend the majority of his first full pro season playing for Ottawa's AHL affiliate in Binghamton. The highly-skilled center will need time to adjust to the pro game especially the physical aspects. Da Costa will need to get stronger, as most young prospects do, but once he rounds into form, his game should translate well at the NHL level. He has great on-ice vision, above average speed, and is skilled with the puck. Da Costa is more of a playmaker than a finisher and has some grit to his game. With a solid season in the AHL, he'll have a good shot at making the big club in 2012-13.