The Anaheim Ducks announced on Wednesday that they have re-signed defenders Christian Djoos and Jani Hakanpää to one-year contract extensions.
Djoos, a left-handed 25-year-old, will be taking less money than he is currently under contract for, taking just a $1 million deal for the 2020-21 season. The Ducks acquired the Swedish defender from the Washington Capitals at the 2020 NHL trade deadline in exchange for forward Daniel Sprong.
In nine games with the Ducks since, Djoos has tallied one goal and two assists. In total, he has 27 points (5 goals, 22 assists) in 119 career NHL games. In 173 AHL games, that total is 113 (26 goals, 87 assists).
The 28-year-old Hakanpää is also taking a pay cut with his $750,000 contract for next season. Originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the fourth round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Hakanpää initially failed to make an impression in North America, playing a few seasons in the AHL under his entry-level contract before returning home to Finland. After winning a Liiga championship in 2018 and a finals appearance in 2019, he signed a one-year contract with the Ducks.
In five NHL games, he’s scored one goal, spending most of the season with the San Diego Gulls of the AHL. There, he put up one goal and 12 assists over 47 games, and skated a plus-12, second on the team among defenders.
It looks as thought the Ducks are planning for a cap that might not move. It seems likely that fringe players may sign these cheap deals to get a roster spot next season, which is certain to be a weird one, and figure out the future later, when the cap rises.
That said, neither of these players were necessarily looking at a pay raise, even in normal circumstances. At an $84 million cap, the contract projection model by Evolving-Hockey, based on previous contract signings, Djoos was projected at a one-year, $825,500 deal. Hakanpää did not have a contract projection, likely because he only played five NHL games, but age, combined with only playing five NHL games this year and it makes sense to assume he wasn’t in for a major pay day.