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Thread: Ottawa Senators Prospects

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    Ottawa Senators Prospects

    Ottawa Senators prospects turn disappointing season into a historical triumph

    Written By Kristopher Bras ,May 4th, 2015


    It was a tumultuous season for the Ottawa Senators. While GM Bryan Murray and Assistant Coach Mark Reeds battled cancer (the latter succumbing in April), the injury bug hit the team’s game day roster hard. In spite of the adversity (and perhaps because of it), the team’s prospects—led by new bench boss Dave Cameron—helped the organization back into the playoffs with a miracle push in the season’s final months.

    In February, the Senators were down and out; 14 points away from a wild-card spot, and both of the team’s goalies on the shelf with indefinite-length injuries. Then, along came a Hamburglar, whose record-setting season spurred the team on to a magical surge in the standings and the first Eastern wild-card spot. Although the Senators would eventually suffer a painful first-round loss to the Canadiens, Andrew Hammond and the rest of the team’s prospects sent fans into the offseason with pride, and excitement for the future.

    With the Ottawa youth movement in full swing, several Binghamton depth prospects saw their roles expand as they waved goodbye to graduating teammates and ascended the depth chart. Meanwhile, other assets in the OHL and Europe developed tremendously, making Senators Director of Hockey Operations and Player Development Randy Lee’s job an extremely tough one this fall. Similarly, I had my own difficulty deciding which player should get each of my year-end awards. In one case, I stopped deliberating in favour of a tie.

    Hardest Worker: Jean-Gabriel Pageau

    Jean-Gabriel Pageau started the year in the minors, but it wasn’t long before he got the chance to contribute in Ottawa. When Lazar left to play in the World Junior Championships, recently anointed head coach Dave Cameron was quick to give Pageau a call. Although it took a while for Pageau to get going offensively, his hard work made it impossible for Cameron let him go. And in the dying minutes of Ottawa’s six-game loss to the Canadiens, it was Pageau who almost saved the team—though his two scoring efforts had to be waved off by officials.

    Hardest Shot: Ben Harpur

    In hindsight, allowing Zdeno Chara to walk via free agency has been one of the team’s worst decisions in its young history. Fortunately, the Senators have Ben Harpur developing in the wings—and his shot could rival Chara’s eventually. The monster 6’6 defenseman already has a terrific slapper, and once he fills out, he could develop one of the most feared shots in the NHL. Binghamton fans will get to see him in action next season.

    Fastest Skater: Shane Prince

    Shane Prince has a lot of tools, and speed is one of them. With his quick feet and NHL shot, Prince became the sixth-leading scorer in the AHL this season, finishing with 28 goals, 37 assists, and 65 points. The AHL named him to the Second All-Star Team, and in February the Senators rewarded him with a brief two game call-up. Although his efforts did not help Bingo to a playoff berth, management is keeping a close eye on him—so as not to lose him in a blur.

    Best Defensive Prospect: Chris Wideman

    The Senators have a handful of defensemen who had great 2014-15 seasons, but Wideman was a cut above the rest. Wideman finished with 61 points in 75 games, tops among AHL defenseman. He participated in his first AHL All-Star Game, and was named a First-Team All-Star early in April. He was called up to the big club earlier in the season to fill in during a brief moment when the Senators did not have six healthy defenceman (they usually have eight). The Senators have an abundance of defensive prospects, so expect Wideman to spend at least another year in Binghamton.

    Breakout Player for 2015-16: Matt Puempel

    Matt Puempel might not be as developed a prospect as Shane Prince at the moment, but Cameron seems to prefer him anyway. When injuries forced the Senators to call a forward up from Bingo, Prince was given a two-game audition before he was sent back in favour of Puempel. Until a late-season injury, Puempel was impressive, scoring 3 points in spot duty through 13 NHL games. He could be the team’s only graduate next season.

    Most Improved Prospect: Nick Paul

    Nick Paul was not a bad player last year, it is just that this year he has been so much better. Although Paul was not taken until the mid-rounds of both the OHL and the NHL drafts, he is now held in the same regard as players who were selected in the first round. He racked up 37 goals for the North Bay Battalion this year, while winning a roster spot with Team Canada at the World Junior Championships over blue-chip prospects like Michael Dal Colle, Dylan Strome, and Mitchell Marner. He currently has 14 points in the playoffs, where his Battalion currently lead the Oshawa Generals in the third round.

    Overachiever: Andrew Hammond

    The Senators were 14 points out of a playoff spot when they sent Andrew Hammond into the net in place of a concussed Robin Lehner, and the only excitement in Ottawa at the time was draft and trade speculation. After a few quick wins, fans waited for what they thought was beginners luck to break—but it did not happen. Eventually, a couple of games became double-digit wins, and a wild card position in the playoffs.

    Hammond finished with an incredible 20-1-2 record—the best start for any goalie in the history of the NHL. He also helped the Senators win three straight games on a ‘Death Valley’ road trip (Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose), a first for the team. He was nominated for the Masterton Trophy late in April, an award that honours perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the game. Andrew Hammond was an inspiration to teammates, fans, and even his opponents.

    Underachiever: Alex Guptill

    Acquired in the trade that sent Spezza to the Stars, Guptill failed to impress during his pro rookie season in Binghamton. Although he had committed to developing his game and improving defensively, he was not effective enough at either end of the ice. Bench boss Luke Richardson auditioned him on the top lines early on, but was forced to bench him later on. The Senators need a huge improvement from him next season.

    Highest Risk/Reward Prospect: Ben Harpur

    The most intriguing thing about Harpur is that he grew up playing as a right wing, and did not start playing defense until his last year of minor hockey. After four years learning the position in the OHL, he has turned into a special prospect—a huge player who can rifle the puck from the point and surprise people with his speed. Unfortunately, he has a habit of making costly errors, either due to a lack of hockey smarts or his inexperience as a defenseman. Nobody knows for sure where Harpur will be in five years, but the Senators will stick around to find out.

    Prospect of the Year: Tie – Mark Stone and Andrew Hammond

    Hammond had a special year, but Mark Stone deserves to share this award with him. Stone was one of the best players in the NHL from December to April, and his 64 points made him the highest scoring rookie in the history of the team—ahead of the legendary Daniel Alfredsson. He also led the entire NHL in takeaways, which has some wondering why he was not nominated for a Selke Trophy. Give it a few years; if he keeps this up, he will take it home sooner rather than later.

    Prospect of the Month: Mark Stone

    Mark Stone - Ottawa SenatorsStone was a lifesaver down the stretch. He scored 18 points in his last 13 games, and four huge goals in his last three. Hammond or not, if you take that clutch scoring away, the Senators would probably have missed the playoffs for the second-straight season. Montreal saw it the same way; they seemed to key in on him early on in their playoff round. Although he suffered a fracture and ligament damage to his wrist when P.K. Subban swiped at him with his stick—an act the Canadiens defenseman received a match penalty for—Stone played through the pain and contributed four assists in the six-game playoff series.

    Stone led all rookies in scoring with 64 points, he led the league in takeaways, and he grew into an offensive catalyst over the course of the season. In honour of his accomplishments, the NHL named him a finalist for the Calder Trophy.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Top prospects for Ottawa Senators

    Defenseman Thomas Chabot unlikely to be rushed to NHL

    by Chris Stevenson / NHL.com Correspondent

    NHL.com is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 30 teams throughout August. Today, the Ottawa Senators.

    After emptying the development system in a rebuilding phase four seasons ago and promoting forwards Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, Zack Smith and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and defensemen Cody Ceci, Mark Borowiecki and Chris Wideman to the NHL, the Ottawa Senators have been working to build their depth and have a handful of high-end prospects.


    There is a good mix of skilled forwards with size, and talented defensemen, though for the most part they are viewed as being a season or two away from making the NHL.

    Here are the Senators' top five prospects, according to NHL.com:

    1. Thomas Chabot, D

    How acquired: Selected with No. 18 pick of 2015 NHL Draft

    Last season: Saint John (QMJHL): 47 GP, 11-34-45

    Chabot is a strong skater with great vision and hockey sense, and those qualities could put him in position to contend for a spot on the Senators at training camp.

    Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said he was impressed with the way Chabot played at the 2016 World Junior Championship for Canada as an 18-year-old and the way he controlled games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and said he is leaving the door open for the 6-foot-2, 190-pound defenseman.

    "I think at times I think it's tough to step into the League at 19 years old, but a lot of teams are doing it. Why not us?" Dorion said.

    That said, it will be a surprise if Chabot becomes a regular this season.

    Projected NHL arrival: Next season

    Senators 30 in 30: Season outlook | Fantasy outlook | Burning questions, reasons for optimism

    2. Logan Brown, C

    How acquired: Selected with No. 11 pick of 2016 NHL Draft

    Last season: Windsor (OHL): 59 GP, 21-53-74

    The Senators' priority in the 2016 draft was getting a big center, and they traded a 2016 third-round pick to the New Jersey Devils to move up one spot in the draft to make sure they got one. At 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, Brown has size, nice hands and playmaking ability.

    "I've been pretty big my entire life, but have also put in a lot of hard work on the ice every day," Brown said. "I work on having quick feet and that explosiveness that might help me become one of those better skaters."

    Brown, 18, had four goals and nine assists in nine games with USA Hockey's National Team Program last season, and three goals and nine assists in seven games for the U.S. during the World Junior Championship.

    The son of former NHL player Jeff Brown, the coach and general manager of Ottawa of the Ontario Hockey League, Brown already has a familiarity with the city and has been training with Senators conditioning coach Chris Schwarz.

    Projected NHL arrival: 2018-19

    3. Colin White, C

    How acquired: Selected with No. 21 pick of 2015 NHL Draft

    Last season: Boston College (NCAA): 37 GP, 19-24-43

    White, projected to be a two-way center, will return to Boston College this fall after speculation he might turn pro after his freshman season.

    "I loved it there," White (6-foot, 183) said of his college experience. "The people around me were so great. It will be good for my development for one more year. We'll see what happens and go from there. Development-wise it will be good for me to get bigger and stronger. We all decided that it would be best for me."

    White, 19, missed development camp after having surgery on his left wrist but was able to handle pucks and take wrist shots during the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in August and said he will be fully healthy when the college season starts.

    Projected NHL arrival: 2018-19

    4. Nick Paul, LW

    How acquired: Trade with Dallas Stars, July 1, 2014

    Last season: Ottawa: 24 GP, 2-3-5; Binghamton (AHL): 45 GP, 6-11-17

    Injuries to veteran forwards Clark MacArthur and Kyle Turris opened the door for Paul, 21, who made his NHL debut Feb. 16.

    Paul, drafted by Dallas with the No. 101 pick in the 2013 draft, can play center, but his future likely be at left wing. At 6-4, 230, he has the size to excel along the wall.

    He had an impressive development camp and was honored with the Hardest Worker Award.

    Projected NHL arrival: This season

    5. Andreas Englund, D

    How acquired: Selected with No. 40 pick of 2014 NHL Draft

    Last season: Djurgarden (SWE): 46 GP, 2-4-6

    The Senators signed the 20-year-old to a three-year, entry-level contract April 6, and he is expected to participate in training camp in September.

    Englund, a 6-3, 190-pound left-shooting defensive-minded defenseman, also helped Djurgarden's junior team win the under-20 league title and was the captain for Sweden at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. He had two points in seven games, and Sweden's coaching staff voted him one of the team's three best players at the tournament.

    Projected NHL arrival: Next season
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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