UPDATE: Ennis has officially signed his deal, worth $23 million over 5 years for a ca hit of $4.6 million.
The Sabres are close to announcing that they have re-signed Tyler Ennis to a five-year extension with an average salary of $4.6 million according to NHL Network's Kevin Weekes. Earlier in the day Weekes tweeted that he expected an announcement from the Sabres to come in the next 24 to 48 hours.
Ennis scored 21 goals and 22 assists in 80 games this season, one point behind Cody Hodgson for the team lead. He is finishing up a two-year contract that carried a cap hit of $2.8 million.
If the terms of the deal are correct, Matt Moulson will be the only Sabres forward with a larger salary than Ennis. He'd be getting paid 400k more than Hodgson, who usually scores about as many points but also struggles in the defensive zone.
The length of the contract shows a commitment from Tim Murray, who has repeatedly verbalized his appreciation for Ennis. At only 24-years-old, Ennis is young enough to be a part of the plan going forward yet also an interesting target for trade consideration. With the Sabres influx of young centers, including Sam Reinhart, Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko, and possibly one of the top selections in next year's draft, the competition will be rampant. This could lead to Ennis being moved back to the wing, where's he's played at points during his five years with the Sabres.
Ennis's best statistical year came his first full season, 2010-11, when he scored 20 goals and 29 assists. His 21 goals this year was also a career best.
With Ennis' deal, Luke Adam is now the only RFA the Sabres have left to sign.
UPDATE: The Sabres have officially announced the signing, but like usual did not release the terms of Ennis' deal. Here's the press release from the Sabres.
The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has signed forward Tyler Ennis to a multi-year contract.
Ennis (5'9", 169 lbs., 10/6/89) has played in parts of five seasons with the Sabres since being drafted by Buffalo in the first round (26th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He later signed a two-year contract with the club in September 2012.
In 2013-14, Ennis led the Sabres with a career-high 21 goals and ranked second on the team in total points, with 43 (21+23) in 80 games played. Ennis recorded his first 20-goal season in 2010-11, when he tallied a career-high 49 points (20+29) in 82 games.
He has ranked among the top five Sabres’ scorers in each of the past four seasons.
The Edmonton, Alberta native made his Sabres debut on Nov. 14, 2009 and became the 21st Sabres player to score a goal in his NHL debut. He has since amassed career totals of 166 points (69+97) through 267 regular-season games and has made two Stanley Cup Playoffs appearances (2009-10, 2010-11), during which he recorded a total of eight points (3+5) in 13 games played.
While playing for the Portland Pirates (AHL) in 2009-10, Ennis tied for the most goals in the league and was awarded the Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL's top rookie and was also named to the 2009-10 AHL All-Rookie Team.
Ennis won a gold medal when he played with Team Canada at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa.