Senators News (September 7th)

It has been a long time since my last look at the Sens, but the summer has been largely uneventful (thanks to all of you who continue to check in).  The main developments were the three extensions signed in August (for Mark Borowiecki, Craig Anderson, and Clarke MacArthur).  Of the three I’m happiest with the latter, surprised and disappointed by the former (Nichols offers excellent thoughts on all three and the most persuasive thing for me in regards to Boro is that he could sit for an entire season and still be a “good teammate”), and think the Anderson retention makes some sense given the paucity within the organisation to find someone else to play with Robin Lehner (given their budget they certainly aren’t going to sign anyone of significance; Travis Yost is less kind about the move).  Fortunately, two of the contracts are reasonable and Anderson‘s isn’t that far off.  In terms of implications, I have no idea what the Sens are going to do with Patrick Wiercioch, who has no discernible place to be on the roster as it stands.

The Sens have announced their rookie camp roster (I’ve highlighted the invitees):

Goaltenders: Chris Driedger (Calgary – WHL, Elmira – ECHL, Binghamton – AHL), Andrew Hammond (Binghamton – AHL, Ottawa – NHL).

Defencemen: Travis Brown (Moose Jaw – WHL, Victoria – WHL), Fredrik Claesson (Binghamton – AHL), Mitch Jones (Plymouth – OHL), Ben Harpur (Guelph – OHL), Stefan Leblanc (Sudbury – OHL, Mississauga – OHL), Alex Lepkowski (Oshawa – OHL, Greenville – ECHL, Rochester – AHL), Matt Murphy (Halifax – QMJHL), Troy Rutkowski (Elmira – ECHL, Binghamton – AHL).

Forwards: Jakub Culek (Elmira – ECHL, Binghamton – AHL), Vincent Dunn (Gatineau – QMJHL, Binghamton – AHL), Ryan Dzingel (Ohio State – Big Ten, Binghamton – AHL), Alex Guptill (Michigan – Big Ten, Texas – AHL), Darren Kramer (Binghamton – AHL), Curtis Lazar (Edmonton – WHL), Tobias Lindberg (Djurgardens – Swe-Jr., Djurgardens – Allsvenskan), Max McCormick (Ohio State – Big Ten), Nick Paul (North Bay – OHL), Francis Perron (Rouyn-Noranda – QMJHL), Shane Prince (Binghamton – AHL), Matt Puempel (Binghamton – AHL), Buddy Robinson (Elmira – ECHL, Binghamton – AHL), Garrett Thompson (Ferris State – WCHA, Binghamton – AHL).

The depth at forward within the organisation is on display here, as is their thinness on the blueline (I’m most interested in the players I haven’t seen yet, as always).  As for the invites, Travis Brown was drafted by Chicago back in 2012, but went unsigned–the left-shooting defenseman had good numbers (74-14-39-53) with Moose Jaw and Victoria last season; Mitch Jones is a rugged, undrafted and undersized player who had unimpressive numbers with Plymouth last year (62-3-11-14); Stefan Leblanc went undrafted this year, but appeared on a number of lists–he enjoyed a solid season (54-5-23-28) split between Mississauga and Sudbury; Alex Lepkowski is a former Buffalo draft pick (2011) whose unremarkable numbers (25-0-4-4 OHL) left him unsigned and nothing he did last season (spent all over the place) makes him interesting; finally Matt Murphy passed through the draft but was considered, he had decent numbers with Halifax last season (64-10-26-36).  Both Murphy and Leblanc will return to the draft, but I don’t think there’s any chance these players will be signed (especially now that Ottawa has no ECHL affiliate).

Of the prospects this is a make-or-break season for Rutkowski, Culek, and Kramer.  All have marginal upside and need to excel at something or be let go or cut loose.  As always performances at the camp aren’t great indicators, but it’s a fun event regardless.

I’m not the biggest Corey Pronman fan in terms of his ability at assessing prospects, but he does publish a lot and has offered a list of the Sens top-ten (take it with a grain of salt folks, with Nichols pointing out a few potential issues, but it is fun):
Curtis Lazar
Mark Stone
Mikael Wikstrand
Matt Puempel
Miles Gendron
Andreas Englund
Nick Paul
Fredrik Claesson
Quentin Shore
Shane Prince

The Sens have endured a partial scouting overhaul with the departure of Tim Murray and others.  Within a piece is data from Travis Yost and Amelia that illustrates just how tiny the Sens staff is (a puzzle for a budget team).

Jeff Ulmer offers a brief look at the Binghamton Senators under Bryan Murray (as opposed to the John Muckler regime).

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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4 Comments

  1. Ottawa needs a LOT of things to go right for them otherwise it’s going to be a long season for the Sens and their fans.

  2. Good to have ya back. Been a long summer.

    Excited to watch some hockey this weekend with the rookie tourney. Looking forward to seeing Puempel, Prince, Lindberg, Lazar, Paul and Dzingle play. They have gotten a lot of hype and I want to see if they can leave up to it.

    I think Lazar will get a few games but will ultimately be sent back to captain the Oil Kings and Team Canada. Then be ready for a top nine role next year.

    I think this is a make or break year for Prince. He has had two good seasons in the AHL but will need to jump ahead of a few prospects to see any NHL action this year. Hopefully he comes in with the right attitude and just busts his ass to be one of our better prospects. I’m rooting for him as I think he has the skills and determination to make it to the NHL.

    Puempel will be interesting to watch this year. Can he improve on his totals last year and become a point per game player in the AHL? If so, he may be the sniper Ottawa is looking for. I say he beats his totals from last year as he will get better minutes from the start of the year with all the changes in Bingo.

    Dzingle has done a lot in college hockey and now is his chance to prove it in the pro league. Hopefully he can be a late round gem and possibly be readyu to be a top nine forward in a few years.

    Lindberg is one of those prospects you don’t know too much about. He’s got the size and speed and some skill. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in the OHL this season. Hopefully the Sens know something about him and he’s a hidden gem.

    I know nothing at all about Paul so I can’t wait to see why the Sens wanted him in the Speeza deal. He seems like a prospect on the rise and he seems to have the size and talent to possibly turn into an impact player.

    hopefully we have a more entertaining year than last year.

    • Thanks! I agree about Lazar and Prince; Puempel *should* keep improving; I expect Dzingel to be a solid AHL-player at least; Lindberg needs to impress after an unremarkable year in Sweden; I’m not sure what to expect from Paul, but at least at the OHL level he’ll have a good year.

      Here here to an entertaining year.


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