-The Sens rookie tournament will take place in London this year (playing with the Leafs, Penguins, and Blackhawks).
-Sens prospects Chris Driedger and Francois Brassard were both invited to Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence goaltending camp.
–Nichols indulges in Don Brennan’s speculation that the Sens should pursue Bryan Bickell in free agency, but quickly concludes he’s essentially Colin Greening and there’s not much sense in paying more for a player you already have. I don’t see the point in the move either–the Sens aren’t in need of grinding forwards.
–Nichols also peaks behind ESPN’s pay wall to look at Corey Pronman’s rising and falling prospects. Cody Ceci is listed as falling:
Ceci was actually named an OHL second-team All-Star and ranked second among OHL defensemen in scoring. Even with that in mind, scouts I talked to came away with mixed feelings about Ceci‘s play this season. While his offensive ability is not at all in question, his play at the other end of the rink left some concerns. “His defense looked very average, if not bad,” one scout said. The defensive-end struggles were more evident during the first half of the OHL season, which may not have coincidentally led to a lack of an invite to Canada’s world juniors camp in his last season of U-20 eligibility. After being dealt from Ottawa to Owen Sound, Ceci‘s play picked up in the 27 games he played with Owen. He’s a dynamic skater who moves the puck well, with a good shot. As he enters his first pro season, it will be interesting to monitor how Ottawa’s staff works with him on his defensive issues.
But there’s some context that Nichols provides to belay that concern. On the flipside, Pronman see’s Robin Lehner as rising (I’m not sure how he’d be seen any other way):
For years Lehner has been touted as a gifted goaltender but had yet to put it all together in a full season in North America. It all came together during the 2012-13 campaign. Lehner has been a brick wall in the AHL and during brief appearances in the NHL. He’s a big (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) goaltender with the athletic tools of an agile goalie half his size. He recovers quickly, generates a lot of power from his feet and shows good puck-tracking skills. Some small nitpicks with Lehner may be he’s not perfectly refined yet and could learn to be a little more technical. But when you’re stopping 93-94 percent of shots faced, it doesn’t seem to be that much of an issue.
-Sens prospect Jordan Fransoo (7-186/11) was not signed and has become a free agent. Fransoo never really progressed, so the move comes as no surprise. Speaking of prospects who are now free agents, although there’s still no official word, I have to assume Bryce Aneloski (7-196/10) is also not in the Sens plans.
–Travis Yost wonders if the Sens will move Mika Zibanejad to the wing given their current situation at center and it’s certainly a possibility for next season. I agree with Travis that ultimately Zibanejad himself may force the Sens to make space for him if he proves a better pivot than a winger.
–Adnan thinks the Sens would like to keep Sergei Gonchar, but only on a one-year deal. I don’t see him staying–if Ottawa won’t give him two years, someone else will.
–Ryan Classic looks at Ottawa’s UFA’s and makes sensible guesses except for Mike Lundin (who should be in the “definitely won’t be re-signed” category), Nathan Lawson (veteran AHL-goalies generally don’t stick around in organisations), and Andre Benoit (who, if he insists on a one-way deal, may not be kept).
-Here’s my look back at the Sens regular season.
-Here’s my review of Future Considerations 2013 NHL draft guide.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)
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