Senators News: September 15

Here’s the Sens news of the day along with scouting reports via McKeen’s:

-Tim Murray was interviewed on The Team 1200 yesterday (September 14) about the rookie tournament (link).  There wasn’t much new in his comments, but in summary: he said Mika Zibanejad would have to receive at least top-nine minutes to make the NHL club; thinks David Rundblad will do even better playing with better players and thinks he’s a little ahead of the other defensemen; he was happy with most of the lineup, specifically mentioning Andre Petersson, Louie Caporusso, Mark Stone, Mark Borowiecki, and Stephane Da Costa; he says there’s one blueline spot to be earned in Ottawa.

-Rob Brodie wrote an article on Colin Greening (link), whose outlook is very realistic, “I thought I was very fortunate to be up for 24 games last year, but that was last year. With a new season comes a new set of challenges and hurdles to get over. It’s all part of coming to camp. The prospect of potentially making the team out of camp is very exciting for me. I hope it happens for me, but that’s up to me right now. It depends on how I play in camp.

David Rundblad writes about the rookie tournament experience in his blog (link); Google translation provides the gist of what he’s saying (along with some hilarious errors), but in general he was happy with how the tournament went (but was unimpressed with how yappy Leaf rookies were).

The Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch provides his five-keys to the Sens making the playoffs (link). His keys are: 1) a solid Craig Anderson, 2) a healthy Daniel Alfredsson (with the assumption that means he’ll be productive), 3) buying into Paul MacLean’s system, 4) a strong performance from Jason Spezza, and 5) rebound years from Sergei Gonchar and Chris Phillips (and no, I don’t know why these two players count as a single reason).  His criteria closely echoes other commentators in regards to veterans needing bounceback years.

-The Senators training camp roster has been released (link).  There are only six players on tryouts (two amateur, four professional).  Among the tryouts only three are unsigned within the organisation and they are:
Matej Machovksy (OHL 7-13-2 2.90 .904); attended the rookie tournament
Brian Stewart (AHL 4-5-3 3.05 .891)
Maxim Gratchev (4-106 2007 NYI, KHL 13-0-0-0); played 17-games with Binghamton  two years ago (09-10)

McKeen‘s yearbook includes scouting reports on David Rundblad, Patrick Wiercioch, Stephane Da CostaColin Greening, Mika Zibanejad, Robin Lehner, Jared Cowen, and Nikita Filatov.  Their analysis:

Rundblad (4.5/5) – “big, skilled, strong-shooting rearguard .. puck-control type, comfortable in possession and supported by a wide wingspang and good stickhandling skills .. quick to identify offensive openings and is a talented and accurate passer – tailors his speed and delivery .. still prone to overhandling the puck at times .. not a pretty skater – stride is short and mechanical .. uncomfortable moving backwards – generates nominal speed, while his pivots can be rough and sluggish .. compensates by patiently sustaining his positioning, but will concede the outside lane to puckcarriers .. displays good poise and shooting instincts running the power play .. keeps shots low and into areas for easier tips .. a high risk-reward type however – pinches aggressively and will forsake his defensive duties

Wiercioch (3/5) – “talented rearguard with good puck skills and deceiving mobility .. adept on his feet .. displays good co-ordination and all-around footwork, only needing to get quicker which should evolve as his lower body strengthens .. still growing into spacious frame .. comfortable and composed in possession [of the puck] – transitions the puck well and is a strong passer with a knack for finding open seams .. gets his point shot through to the net and keeps it low .. still developing defensively – and learning the nuances of defending pro speed and strength – which will mandate better gap control and crease-area coverage .. can be slow to identify threats and establish tight checking positions .. gets drawn up ice watching for ways to join the attack .. good upside as a strong top four NHL blueliners – with the proper refinements

Stephane Da Costa (2.5/5) – “methodical two-way playmaker with soft hands .. smooth, sturdy skater .. reacts quickly to changes – body and stick well-prepared .. talented puckcarrier, poised and skillful in possession .. makes tight, compact turns and subtle diagonal shifts to open up lanes .. accurate passer with a knack for sneaking feeds through seams .. delays his release point for an extra moment which opens up more options – and adds to his craftiness .. right-hand shooter on the powerplay, boasting a strong one-time plus an unassuming wristshot that generates surprising velocity .. neither big, belligerent or overly strong, however he is competitive and balanced – and guided by good sense and awareness .. manages the puck well thanks to a structured and responsible game – always back in proper support positions .. will fare better if he can get stronger over the summer

Colin Greening (2.5/5) – “big, strong two-way winger .. adequate puckhandler whose prime weapon is a heavy slapshot powered by a quick release .. hard-working and diligent defensively .. deceptive skater – not overly explosive or quick off the mark, yet generates excellent top speed from a wide, sturdy stride .. plays in the hard areas – earns time on the penalty kill .. excels on the forecheck and grinding along the boards – using his thick frame to body opponents off the puck .. displays solid net-front presence – gets into shooting lanes for tips – and on top of the crease with his stick and body in good position

Mika Zibanejad (4.5/5) – “determined two-way forward with good size and smarts .. anticipates the game well on both sides of the puck .. versatile – plays the wing and also mans the point on the power play .. talented passer and stickhandler, supported by quick, soft hands and a range upper body .. crafty 1-on1, boasting wide stick-handling range and clever moves to open up space for a heavy shot .. good developing skater .. top speed is fine, generates deceiving power from a wide, gangly stride .. startup and acceleration could be quicker .. must continue to get stronger and more balanced on his feet .. responsible – comes back deep on the backcheck and is comfortable operating in traffic .. knows how to use his body to play a tenacious physical game

Robin Lehner (4.5/5) – “big competitive goalie .. cocky, colourful, brimming with self-confidence .. plays an energetic stay-at-home style based on positioning and net coverage .. collapses rapidly to a tight butterfly, displaying excellent vertical quickness .. makes himself look tall, filling the top of the net with an imposing upper torso .. can be hesitant to aggressively cut down angles .. gets stranded on his pads when dropping prematurely, particularly moving laterally into a butterfly .. does a good job controlling rebounds off his chest, but can give up juicy ones on low shots

Jared Cowen (4.5/5) – “tough, strong-willed and studious .. excels as a proactive crease-clearer – knows how to use his size and strength to box out intruders .. does possess decent skills for his size and some imagination .. steadily adding velocity to a hard slapshot which stays low and on target .. good, solid skater – dextrous and strong on a wide base – but needs to keep increasing footspeed and quickness .. projects as a stout defender able to absorb pressure to clear the zone – or make an impact play with his physical tenacity

Nikita Filatov (3/5) – “fast gifted playmaker .. fluid and dynamic on his feet with a gift for manufacturing space using speed and puckhandling .. crisp passer, excellent first touch, and equipped with an understanding of how to position his body to receive passes .. determined and stealth-like in the offensive zone .. not as diligent or as passionate defensively, tends to lose interest and stops moving his feet .. will have to make a greater commitment to developing his strength and conditioning as his slightly-built frame was clearly not prepared for NHL warfare

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1 Comment

  1. […] of the conventional opinion (you can check out Corey Pronman, Hockey Futures (John Henkelman), McKeen’s, The Hockey News and Hockey Prospectus‘ lists from back in the […]


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