Chabot hopes Karlsson stays with Senators –

SAINTE-MARIE, Quebec — Thomas Chabot is hoping his first season as Erik Karlsson’s protégé isn’t the last.

But the 21-year-old Ottawa Senators defenseman knows the reality facing the two-time Norris Trophy winner. 

Karlsson, 28, has one season remaining on a seven-year contract and could become an unrestricted free agent after this season. The Senators, who offered Karlsson a contract extension July 1, could trade the perennial all-star. Karlsson was given permission by the Senators to talk to other teams about a contract extension, Sportsnet confirmed July 2.

“I’ve been following the (Karlsson) situation closely,” Chabot said Thursday during the second annual charity golf tournament bearing his name, taking place in his hometown. “And I’d obviously like for him to stay with us. I had the chance to play with him last season and I learned so much from watching him work. He’s talented at everything he does. Even his own teammates, we sometimes can’t believe the plays that he makes.

“He’s a mentor to me, I’m trying to model my playing style after his. He’s also a really cool guy outside the rink.”

Chabot, selected by Ottawa with the No. 18 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, is coming off a solid rookie season for the Senators. He had 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) in 63 games and is seen by some as an heir apparent to Karlsson. 

Video: [email protected]: Chabot whips wrist shot past Hellebuyck

But Chabot doesn’t consider himself ready to fill Karlsson’s skates if the Senators trade him.

“You can’t just say you’re going to take over for an elite player like that,” Chabot said. “Players like him don’t come around every day.”

Karlsson had 62 points (nine goals, 53 assists) in 71 games last season. He has led Ottawa in points, or finished

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