The Ottawa Senators, runner-ups in the Eastern Conference this recently completed season, were active on Tuesday as they signed defenseman Patrick Sieloff to a minimum NHL contract. Sieloff, who was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Calgary Flames, has only ever appeared in one game in the NHL. That was in 2015/16 and he actually had a goal for his efforts. Otherwise, he has spent the bulk of his playing career in the American Hockey League (AHL), including last season when he was with the Birmingham Senators.

Minimum deal means $650K

The Ottawa Senators signed Sieloff to a one-year deal worth $650,000 according to Spotrac's page for the defenseman. That will give him a year to develop in the Senators' organization before becoming a restricted free agent next season.

At this point in his early career, Sieloff doesn't have the much-demonstrated ability as a scorer. In 154 appearances in AHL games, he only has six goals to his credit. Furthermore, he has just 12 assists in those appearances for a total of 18 points in 154 AHL games. It's true that Sieloff is a defenseman, but his plus/minus has never stood out either. From that point of view, he has gone -30 from since the start of the 2014/15 season.

This is a player that is not likely to have any kind of extended stay in the NHL in the upcoming season. In signing Sieloff, the Senators have to be thinking about him surprising or possibly developing into a role player in the long-term future. The 23-year old American-born player is actually questionable to have an impact in the AHL in the 2017/18 season.

While Ottawa only committed to the most basic terms for the defenseman, certainly other NHL teams have gotten more lately for the same terms. For instance, Edmonton's recent signing of Yohann Auvitu looks like a better pick up for the same money spent.

Ottawa considered peripheral contenders

The Senators, despite their surprising success in the 2016/17 NHL season, are actually totally off the radar for success next season when one consults betting odds.

Although they came within one goal of winning the Eastern Conference this spring, looking ahead they are considered 10th favorites to win the Eastern Conference next season.

888sport sportsbook, for instance, has the Senators priced at 20 to 1 to win the Eastern Conference in 2017/18. That would make them peripheral contenders for next season, so this is not a team that is perceived as being a significant force in the upcoming season.