The Columbus Blue Jackets signed former Chicago Blackhawks forward Anthony Duclair to a one-year deal worth $650,000, Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen confirmed to The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline on Thursday.
Chicago chose not to extend a $1.2-million qualifying offer to Duclair in June, making him an unrestricted free agent. The Hawks acquired him and defenseman Adam Clendening in January from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forwards Richard Pánik and Laurent Dauphin. Duclair scored two goals and eight points in 23 games for Chicago.
“(Duclair) has top-end speed and skill,” Kekalainen told The Athletic. “He was looking for an opportunity, and we have that for him. He has tremendous potential, and he’s still young. We are excited.”
Duclair, who turns 23 on Aug. 26, had a breakout campaign in his first season with the Arizona Coyotes in 2015-16, scoring 20 goals and 44 points. The former third-round pick by the New York Rangers couldn’t keep the momentum going as he posted five goals and 15 points in 58 games. He was also sent down to the AHL and played 16 games with the Tucson Roadrunners.
Duclair will join Clendening in Columbus as the defenseman also inked a one-year deal with the Blue Jackets when free agency began July 1.