The Buffalo Sabres have reportedly come to terms with diminutive scoring forward Tyler Ennis on a five-year, $23 million contract extension. Ennis has some of the best hands in the league and is a super elite stick-handler, but from what I’ve seen over the years, he still struggles to really use his teammates well and isn’t a particularly good possession player.
Despite his issues as a playmaker and two-way forward, Ennis produces offense at an extremely efficient clip, something pretty much no one else on the Sabres roster can do. Over the past three years Ennis ranks 113th out of NHL forwards who have played more than 2000 minutes in even-strength points rate, which is legitimate second-line forward production. Considering the quality of the players he’s been sharing the ice with in Buffalo, that’s pretty impressive.
At 24-years-old, Ennis has at least a couple of years left in his scoring prime and $4.6 million is pretty much the going rate for good second-line forwards. Obviously the Sabres are going to need someone to produce offense while they’re rebuilding.
The Toronto Maple Leafs agreed to a two-year contract with forward Peter Holland, a talented 23-year-old forward who cost them a second-round pick a year ago and played pretty well filling in for Dave Bolland on the third-line last season. Despite strong AHL production, Holland’s rate stats don’t jump out at me and I think it’s pretty likely he’ll be a depth center this upcoming season with only fantasy occassional value (like if one of Nazem Kadri or Tyler Bozak get injured).