22-Year-Old Center – Calgary Flames
Curtis Lazar Contract Information:
Signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the Senators in September of 2013.
The Flames announced Saturday that they have protected Lazar from the upcoming NHL expansion draft, Eric Francis of Sportsnet reports.
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Curtis Lazar: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The Senators' 2013 first-round pick, Lazar made the team out of camp as a 19-year-old last year and fit well in a depth role, racking up 15 points to go with 167 hits in 67 games. He doesn't have great size or an elite offensive pedigree, but Lazar is already quite competent for his age at both center and right wing. Unfortunately, the Senators have a fleet of young talent at both those positions, so unless they suffer some injuries or Lazar can displace someone, he's going to be stuck with bottom-six minutes, and thus, limited fantasy appeal once again in 2015-16. In the long run, though, Lazar could invite comparison to the best days of Dustin Brown -- that sort of 50-point, 200-plus-hit output is within the range of his ability.
Lazar is quite clearly the crown jewel of a Senators farm system short on high-end talent, and he stands a pretty good chance to make the roster in training camp. He's never played a professional game before, but the organization loves him, and the numbers he put up in the WHL are nothing short of impressive. He finished 2013-14 with 41 goals and 35 assists in 58 games, aiding him to a phenomenal plus-41 rating. The team is pretty deep down the middle at this point, but the Sens are probably going to give him an extended look at the very least while they're rebuilding. He's not worth picking up right away, but be sure to keep Lazar on your radar for the near future.
The Senators took Lazar number 17 overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, so he's definitely worth keeping an eye on this season. He's only 18, so he likely won't have an impact for a couple more years, but he's a big, strong power forward with great hands around the net. He racked up 38 goals and 23 assists in 72 games with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL last season. Although it probably won't be this year, eventually Lazar could be a very valuable fantasy player.