Matt Duchene Signs with Nashville Predators

Matt Duchene
COLUMBUS, OH - FEBRUARY 26: Matt Duchene #95 of the Columbus Blue Jackets lines up for a face off during the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 26, 2019 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

The Nashville Predators have signed unrestricted free agent forward Matt Duchene to a contract. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports that the contract will be seven-years at $56 million.

Nashville Predators Sign Matt Duchene

Over his 10-year NHL career, he spent time with the Colorado Avalanche, Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets. Over that span, he scored 232 goals and 315 assists for 547 points in 727 games.

Last season in 73 games between the Ottawa and Columbus, Duchene scored 31 goals and added 39 assists for 70 points. His possession numbers were 51.9 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of 7.

In 10 playoffs games, Duchene scored five goals and added five assists for 10 points.

Duchene was originally drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the first round, third overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

What This Means for the Future

In Duchene, Nashville gets a versatile top-line talent. Duchene is capable of playing both centre or the wing. However, he is best utilized at centre due to his ability to win the draw. Duchene finished with a 55.3 faceoff win percentage last season which was good for 13th in the league for players who took over 1,000 faceoffs.

In today’s NHL where the game is built on speed and skill, Duchene excels. Duchene has outstanding top-end speed and is regarded as one of the league’s fastest skaters. He has a magnificent set of hands. Duchene is able to pull off dekes at top speed leading to highlight-reel goals. Duchene is also a very capable playmaker. He has shown throughout his career by hitting the 30 and 40 assist plateaus multiple times. Duchene also set a new career high in goals last season with 31 and tied a career high in points with 70.

There’s been a lot of ups and downs for Duchene over the past few years. Dealing with a ton of trade rumours for years in Colorado to then dealing with the contract and trade situation in Ottawa to eventually finishing out the season in Columbus where the club got ousted in the second round by the Boston Bruins. Now with a new contract signed, Duchene can finally settle in. He doesn’t have to worry about rumours or contract talks any longer. He can finally focus on playing hockey and try to win his first Stanley Cup.

COLUMBUS, OH – FEBRUARY 26: Matt Duchene #95 of the Columbus Blue Jackets lines up for a face off during the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 26, 2019 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

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