Binghamton Player Profile: Kaspars Daugavins

This is the eighth profile on prospects expected to play for the Binghamton Senators.

Kaspars Daugavins, LW, Contract: 0.600/12 (RFA)
3-91 2006 (Muckler), 6’0, Shoots L, YOB 1988, Riga, LAT
2008-09 AHL 23-2-1-3 9pim (1 fight)
2008-09 OHL 30-11-17-28 35pim (1 fight)
2009-10 AHL 72-21-25-46 16pim
2010-11 AHL 73-19-35-54 34pim

Picked in John Muckler’s last draft, Daugavins was playing for HK Riga in Latvia and was overlooked by Central Scouting (although he was ranked #118 by ISS); he came to the attention of scouts at the WJC.  After he was drafted Daugavins joined the St. Michael’s Majors of the OHL.  He played two full seasons in the OHL before turning pro.

Daugavins joined Cory Clouston’s squad in Binghamton for the 2008-09 season, but struggled and was loaned to the Majors in late December (www.mississauga.com/ article/25937).  He put up his usual numbers back in junior.  The following season, under coach Don Nachbaur, Daugavins finally found his stride as a pro.  He finished sixth in scoring on the team and earned his only NHL call-up.

Coming into this past season, Daugavins was expected to be a key figure in Binghamton and one of the primary candidates to be called up in case of injury.  He had a slow start and was a healthy scratch five times in November.  After that experience, Daugavins hit his stride and caught fire (56-46), finishing fourth in scoring.  The Senators tried calling him up late in the season, but on that occasion he was injured.  Daugavins was a force in the playoffs, finishing third in scoring and first among prospects.  He described the playoff experience as “The run to the Calder Cup was hard, but it paid off and was such a great feeling.  I finally felt like a champion and was happy for all the work we put in during the season” (http://www.puckagency.com/ 2011/07/13/the-legend-of-kaspars-daugavins-continues-to-grow/).

Entering the off-season the Senators qualified Daugavins, but he didn’t immediately accept and he signed a tryout contract in the KHL (www.dinamoriga.eu/lv/news/view/ parbaudes-laika-ligumi-ar-vairakiem-hokejistiem).  The tryout wouldn’t affect his future in North America, but left many wondering if Daugavins would report to the Sens.  In August he signed a new deal (not his qualifying offer) that included a slight raise in his NHL salary (600k) and a significant increase in his AHL salary (105k).  It’s assumed that he will report not just to training camp but to the AHL as well.

The issue that Daugavins struggled with this past season was conditioning, which may explain his desire to join a KHL training camp (European camps open earlier than their North American counterparts).  I don’t believe he has a chance to make the Senators out of training camp, although he’s an obvious choice to be called up.  His production in Binghamton should take another step forward, so assuming he stays healthy 60-65 points can be expected.

His Hockey Futures profile: www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/kaspars_daugavins
A great shootout goal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkIXY_5m7Dg
Interviewed in the Calder Cup playoffs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vce9x1ivC7o
OT winner against Manchester: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlsK-YCz1ok

Next up is Robin Lehner.

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