Player Profile: Kaspars Daugavins

Kaspars Daugavins, LW, Contract: 0.635/14 (RFA) 3-91/06 (Muckler)
6’1, Shoots L, YOB 1988, Riga, Lat
2009-10 AHL Binghamton 72-21-25-46 (ppg 0.64) -3 16pim
2010-11 AHL Binghamton 73-19-35-54 (ppg 0.74) +4 34pim
2011-12 AHL Binghamton 7-4-2-6 (ppg 0.85) Even 0pim
2011-12 NHL Ottawa 65-5-6-11 (ppg 0.17) -2 12pim TOI 11:19

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, playing 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 back to the Majors in late December (putting up his usual numbers back in the OHL).  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 first NHL call-up.

In Binghamton’s Calder Cup season, Daugavins was expected to be a key figure and one of the primary candidates to be called up.  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 on the team in scoring.  The Senators tried calling him up late in the season, but at the time 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.

Entering the off-season the Senators qualified Daugavins, but he didn’t immediately accept and he signed a tryout contract in the KHL.  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 that included a slight raise in his NHL salary (600k) and a significant increase in his AHL salary (105k).  Assigned to Binghamton after training camp, he was recalled in late October and spent the rest of the season with the Senators.  An undersized grinder, Daugavins ice time began to decline as the season progressed and he was a regular scratch during the last six weeks of the season.

Given the glut of forwards in the Senators system there was some question over whether Daugavins should be kept or not, but the team ultimately made the decision to re-sign him in the hope that there is still development to come.  If Daugavins played a full season I wouldn’t expect his numbers to increase much, remaining in the 10-15 range.

Here’s a great shootout goal; an interview during the Calder Cup playoffs; scoring the OT winner against Manchester