I thought I’d take a look at how Sens prospects (and B-Sens signees) are performing in Elmira (for those who don’t know, both Ottawa and New Jersey share Elmira as an ECHL affiliate). The Jackals are 9-11-2, which makes them 10th in the Eastern Conference. Like every ECHL team, their lineup fluctuates constantly, but as a constant throughout the league it’s no more or less a factor for their competition (the weirdest instance was Jordon Southorn departing for Britain’s EIHL, only to come back shortly thereafter to play for Fort Wayne). I’m not going to tackle the issue of whether winning matters for a prospect’s development (off the cuff I’d say good coaching is more important, but I’m not a fan of gut feels as fact so take that with a large grain of salt). At some point in the future I’m sure there will be advanced statistics like Corsi at this level (I’ve always liked Graphic Comments‘ explanation of them), but for now we have the more traditional stats to work with (in this case I’m only interested in their ECHL stats). Note: I’ve ignored Buddy Robinson, as he suited up for only a single game before being recalled to Binghamton.
Ottawa prospects (those on their ELC; all are rookies):
Jakub Culek (C/LW)
2012-13 QMJHL 9-4-3-7 ppg 0.77 (missed most of the season due to injury/junior technicalities)
2013-14 ECHL 17-4-11-15 ppg 0.88
I haven’t always been kind to Culek as a prospect, but at least at this level the 21-year old leads the team in scoring, points-per-game, and plus/minus; the one critique I could make is he doesn’t shoot enough (32 SOG), but that’s a pretty minor flaw in what has been a great start to his pro career in Elmira. He’s seen action in two AHL games.
Ludwig Karlsson (LW)
2012-13 NCAA 17-5-3-8 ppg 0.47 (missed half the season with a wrist injury)
2013-14 ECHL 13-3-4-7 ppg 0.50
The 22-year old free agent signees’ performance took a step back after suffering a concussion and it’s only in his last four games that he’s rounded into form (4-2-2-4 +2). Due to the injury, it’s difficult to assess his play, but he should dominate at this level. His three games in Binghamton don’t permit much analysis.
Troy Rutkowski (D)
2012-13 WHL 72-20-46-66 ppg 0.91
2013-14 ECHL 9-0-3-3 ppg 0.33
The 21-year old unsigned Colorado draft pick has spent less than half the season with Elmira, so it’s difficult to really judge his performance, but it’s clearly better than what he’s shown in his six games in Binghamton. He should dominate here and I think if he spends enough time with the Jackals he will.
Danny Hobbs (LW)
2012-13 ECHL 53-9-22-31 ppg 0.58
2013-14 ECHL 22-7-6-13 ppg 0.59
The 24-year old ex-Greenville Road Warrior and former Ranger draft pick is on par with his performance last year; he’s very unlikely to see time in Binghamton.
Danny New (D)
2012-13 ECHL 21-2-9-11 ppg 0.52
2013-14 ECHL 22-2-9-11 ppg 0.50
24-year old blueliner attended the Sens 2010 development camp and spent half of last season in Binghamton; his numbers (like Hobbs above) are a mirror-image of the previous season, although he’s saddled with an awful plus/minus (-12). He has played one AHL game this season, with more to come given his call-up today.
Scott Greenham (G)
2012-13 ECHL 11-19-3 3.39 .908
2013-14 ECHL 5-6-1 2.59 .920
The 26-year old ex-Bakersfield Condor attended the Sens 2011 development camp and is in the midst of his best pro season. He hasn’t started since December 6th and is apparently injured.
Both Karlsson and Culek are going to struggle to get much AHL action given the glut of forwards in Binghamton, but Rutkowski can push his way onto the blueline given the relative thinness at that position. I’m not sure if Greenham has AHL-chops, but goaltender development is about as strange as it can get, so it will be interesting to see if/when he gets his shot. I think New is a player who will generally bounce back and forth between levels.
Sens/B-Sens players who played in Elmira last year have all had varied paths this season (New is above): Ben Blood has been a Binghamton regular and appears to have benefitted substantially from his time with the Jackals; Darren Kramer is also a regular, but I’m less certain his game has evolved; Louie Caporusso continues to be an ECHL star (with Reading, but no transition to the next level); Dustin Gazley is also with Reading, but isn’t having the same success; Jack Downing joined Boston’s organisation and has had a cup of coffee with Providence.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)