Senators ink 2019 first-rounder Lassi Thomson to entry-level contract

OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators signed 2019 first-round draft pick Lassi Thomson to a three-year, entry-level contract on Monday.

Selected 19th overall last month in Vancouver, the 18-year-old defenceman had 17 goals and 41 points with the Western Hockey League's Kelowna Rockets in 2018-19, his first playing in North America.

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Ottawa acquired the pick used on the native of Tampere, Finland, in the deal that sent Matt Duchene to the Columbus Blue Jackets prior to February's trade deadline.

The rebuilding Senators, who finished last in the NHL's overall standings in 2018-19, dealt away their original pick — which wound up being No. 4 overall — to the Colorado Avalanche as part of the swap for Duchene in November 2017.

"Lassi has great offensive instincts and an NHL-calibre shot," Senators general managers Pierre Dorion said in a statement announcing Thomson's signing. "He also brings a high compete level — he's always moving his feet and driving the pace of play.

"We came away from development camp in Ottawa very impressed and feel that he is going to be an important piece of our team's future."

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