McKeen’s hockey yearbook is one of the better buys in terms of comprehensive content. Last year McKeen’s predicted the Sens would finish 13th in the conference and that Bobby Butler was a “hidden gem”. Their top Sens prospects were:
-Mika Zibanejad (15)
-Jared Cowen (19)
-David Rundblad (26)
-Nikita Filatov (35)
-Patrick Wiercioch (56)
-Stefan Noesen (85)
-Matt Puempel (97)
-Jakob Silfverberg (98)
-Robin Lehner was the 3rd highest goaltending prospect
So what about this year? Here’s the outlook (with the Sens projected to finish 6th in the conference):
Murray was looking to add a few key weapons to coach Paul MacLean’s arsenal – and prevent any slippage after an 18-point improvement in ’11-’12. But he came up short in his bid to acquire either Rick Nash or coveted free-agent defenseman Justin Schultz.
I do think the Sens were serious about Schultz, but there was never any chance Nash would come here so pursuing him was a waste of time. I think it’s absurd to suggest losing out on Schultz equates to a negative for Murray’s off-season. The rest of the outlook is positive, but suggests Murray may not to translate some of his prospect talent into trading for a defenseman if the current depth isn’t up to the challenge and I agree with that.
Kyle Turris is the player to watch, to which I say…really? They aren’t swinging for the fences with that prediction. Mark Borowiecki is the team’s sleeper prospect. Here are their point projections:
Jason Spezza 76-34-48-82
Erik Karlsson 77-15-50-65
Milan Michalek 73-28-31-59
Colin Greening 82-21-29-50
Kyle Turris 74-19-29-48
Sergei Gonchar 69-7-33-40
Jared Cowen 75-3-15-18
If Greening gets 50 points I’ll eat my hat. Finally, these are the Sens prospects who made their top-120 list:
-Mika Zibanejad (11)
-Cody Ceci (30)
-Mark Stone (53)
-Jakob Silfverberg (55)
-Stefan Noesen (66)
-Matt Puempel (99)
-Robin Lehner comes in 6th among the 30 goaltenders (Ben Bishop is 10th)
Presumably Jared Cowen fell off their list due to games played in the NHL. Patrick Wiercioch‘s absence this year is not a surprise.
All in all the magazine is a worthwhile purchase. Their predictions and analysis aren’t gospel, but it’s a good way to start and for poolies offers a comprehensive look at teams and prospects they aren’t familiar with.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)