Senators News: October 15th

Scott had the scoring chances vs San Jose 7-23.  Ouch.

-The Sens are having a hard time selling tickets to the home opener–is it the local economy, the on ice product, or an owner who tells fans he’s on a budget and can’t compete?  I haven’t seen any serious attempt to answer the question, but I assume it’s a combination of the first and third option.

Jeremy Milks preaches patience and expects (along with every other Sens blogger) Mika Zibanejad to be recalled, but he also throws out Jim O’Brien as someone to come up.  From what I can tell Jeremy hasn’t paid any attention to what’s going on in Binghamton, but he thinks the Sens need bigger centers (because bigger is better) and that the financially strapped team would rather pay O’Brien his NHL salary in the NHL.  The Mika call-up is a no brainer, as is the Stephane Da Costa demotion, but I don’t see O’Brien returning.

-Back in January Phil Birnbaum used a mathematical approach to try to determine how much of a role luck played in determining NHL outcomes (based off Tangotiger‘s work from 2006 when he looked at all the big leagues).  Phil doesn’t explain the methodology for explaining “luck” and Tango’s is buried in his comments (you can get a better sense of what the math is all about here), but concludes it takes 73 games before luck ceases to be a factor in the NHL.  Do we see that evident in league standings?  It does offer an answer to how random lower seeded playoff teams seem to be along with the yingyang throughout the league in terms of standings amongst all but the best of the best.  Interesting food for thought.

-Not to beat a dead horse, but warning bells are ringing for Jakub Culek who is the only player on Binghamton’s roster to see no game action this season.  Barring injury I continue to assume he’ll be sent down to Elmira. [Chris Lund informs me Culek is rehabbing a shoulder injury, which both explains why he’s still on the Binghamton roster as well as why he hasn’t played; given that he’s been practicing with the team he’s presumably close to being ready to play.]

-A few updates on B-Sens from last year who lacked a team coming into the season: as mentioned yesterday Louie Caporusso and Dustin Gazley have found homes with Reading (ECHL); Jack Downing is with South Carolina (ECHL) after attending Bruins camp; ATO Nick Craven is currently with Utah (ECHL).

-Elmira continues to reduce its roster, cutting Michael Beaudry, Vincent Richer, and goaltender Nick Niedert.

-Here’s my overview of undrafted success stories in the NHL.

ISS has released its October rankings for the 2014 draft:

1 Reinhart, Sam C 11/6/1995 R 6.00.75 185 Kootenay WHL
2 Ekblad, Aaron D 2/7/1996 R 6.03.5 216 Barrie OHL
3 Dal Colle, Michael F 6/20/1996 L 6.01.5 179 Oshawa OHL
4 Nylander, Willie F 5/1/1996 R 5.11 169 Rogle SweAl
5 Karlsson, Anton LW 8/3/1996 L 6.01.25 187 Frolunda SweJE
6 Kapanen, Kasperi RW 7/23/1996 L 5.10.5 172 Kuopio FinE
7 Lindblom, Oskar RW 8/15/1996 L 6.01.25 191 Brynas SweJE
8 McKeown, Roland D 1/20/1996 R 6.00.75 197 Kingston OHL
9 Bennett, Sam LW 6/20/1996 L 6.00.25 178 Kingston OHL
10 Draisaitl, Leon C 10/27/1995 L 6.01.75 208 Prince Albert WHL
11 Ritchie, Nicholas F 12/5/1995 L 6.02.25 231 Peterborough OHL
12 Virtanen, Jake LW 8/17/1996 R 6.00.75 208 Calgary WHL
13 Clarke, Blake F 1/24/1996 L 6.01.25 199 North Bay OHL
14 McCann, Jared C 5/31/1996 L 6.00.25 179 S.S. Marie OHL
15 Bleackley, Conner C/RW 2/7/1996 R 6.00.5 192 Red Deer WHL
16 Perlini, Brendan LW 4/27/1996 L 6.02.5 205 Niagara OHL
17 Fleury, Haydn LD 7/8/1996 L 6.02.5 198 Red Deer WHL
18 Martin, Brycen LD 5/9/1996 L 6.01.75 182 Swift Current WHL
19 Barbashev, Ivan F 12/14/1995 L 6.00 181 Moncton QMJHL
20 Kempe, Adrian C 9/13/1996 L 6.01.5 187 Modo SweE
21 Middleton, Jacob LD 1/2/1996 L 6.02.75 208 Ottawa OHL
22 Glover, Jack RD 5/17/1996 R 6.03.25 190 USA Under-18 NTDP
23 Tuch, Alex RW 5/10/1996 R 6.03.5 213 USA Under-18 NTDP
24 Vrana, Jakub RW 2/28/1996 L 6.00 183 Linkoping SweE
25 Schmaltz, Nick RW 2/23/1996 R 5.11.5 172 Green Bay USHL
26 Ho-Sang, Joshua RW 1/22/1996 R 5.11 166 Windsor OHL
27 Goldobin, Nikolai RW 10/7/1995 L 5.11.5 178 Sarnia OHL
28 Deangelo, Anthony RD 10/24/1995 R 5.10.75 175 Sarnia OHL
29 Larkin, Dylan LW 7/30/1996 L 6.00.75 190 USA Under-18 NTDP
30 Poganski, Austin RW 2/16/1996 R 6.01.25 198 Tri-City USHL

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Undrafted Success Stories in the Post-Lockout NHL

Back in September I re-visited my look at undrafted players who made their way into the NHL.  There remains a wide variety of roads fr those not selected in the draft, from college, Europe, the CHL, the CIS, AHL, and ECHL.  Given the way I defined the various categories there remain a few players missed above: Cory Conacher, Ben Street, and Mark ArcobellaConacher is an NCAA grad, but was not signed to an NHL contract coming out of college, instead playing a season in the AHL before Tampa signed him.  The story is the same for Arcobella and Street, although each split their rookie seasons between the ECHL and AHL.  These three players earned their minor league contracts from NCAA play and their NHL contracts from AHL play, but don’t fit neatly into the usual patterns of either route (if pressed I’d call them minor league grads, so I’ve added them as such in the numbers below).

College remains the most common route for undrafted players, with 66 reaching the NHL that way since 2006.  Europe clocks in at a distant second place with 29, followed by the CHL (24), AHL (22), ECHL (11), and finally the CIS (3).  Including the outriders above that’s 154 players who had played at least one NHL game without the benefit of being drafted.  This a large tally, although it’s worth keeping in mind the NHL consists has well over 600 players playing each year, so this represents a small percentage (the average is about 20 players a season, so less than 3% were untouched by the draft).

The quality of these players is all over the map, but most are not (or were not) NHL regulars.  By my count (and current players on ELC’s are hard to judge), 45 of the 155 (29%) have been everyday NHLers (NCAA: 22, Europe 9, CHL: 6, AHL: 4, ECHL: 3, CIS: 1).  The only truly elite players in this group are goaltenders (all from Europe); the other “best” players in other categories fall along the lines of top-six or top-four players–nothing to sneeze at, but not the same weight as a starting netminder.

What can we conclude?  It’s the same story from last year, where scouts properly identify the vast majority of players in the NHL only missing those who are undersized or simply not exposed enough (ie, in Europe).

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)