Ottawa Senators System Update (Binghamton, Wichita, and Prospects)

We’re far enough into the season to dig into the performances being accrued by Senators prospects and their affiliate teams.

Binghamton_Senators_svg

The Binghamton Senators are an utter disaster.  There’s no other way to frame it–no excuses to offer–they’re terrible and their season is over in terms of making the playoffs.  The only hope for fans is to see development and improvement.  Normally I compare the BSens to their conference, but let’s look at their overall league performance: 30th (5-14-1-1), trailing the 29th and 28th place teams by 5 points (already!); they are last in scoring (5 goals behind the 29th scoring team), and 24th in goals allowed.  One plus I’ll give Kurt Kleinendorst is that he’s put a stop to Luke Richardson’s regime’s endless parade to the penalty box–the BSens are the 4th-least penalized team in the league. Unsurprisingly the team has a terrible powerplay (29th), although their PK is hovering around average (16th)–the percentage about the same as the team finished last season.  I don’t know what, as a coaching staff, you do with this roster.  With that said, there’s still odd personnel decisions being made and (between the pipes) you have to wonder how many of those are dictated by Sens management.  Onto individual performances (players are organised by points-per-game, PPG):
[Key: italics = rookie, (D) = defenseman, (V) = veteran contract, (A) = AHL contract]

Phil Varone (26) (V) 18-5-8-13 (0.72 ppg)
Casey Bailey (25) 21-6-4-10 (0.47 ppg)
Kyle Flanagan (27) (A) 20-1-8-9 (0.45 ppg)
Jack Rodewald (22) (loan) 12-3-2-5 (0.41 ppg) (ECHL 6-5-3-8)
Buddy Robinson (25) 18-3-4-7 (0.38 ppg)
Chris Rumble (26) (D) (A) 11-1-3-4 (0.36 ppg) (ECHL 3-1-2-3)
Mike Blunden (29) (V) 20-3-4-7 (0.35 ppg)
Francis Perron (20) 21-4-3-7 (0.33 ppg)
Max McCormick (24) 15-3-2-5 (0.33 ppg)
Ryan Rupert (22) 19-3-3-6 (0.31 ppg)
Chris Carlisle (21) (D) (A) 20-1-5-6 (0.30 ppg)
Curtis Lazar (21) 13-3-1-4 (0.30 ppg)
Michael Kostka (31) (D) (V) 21-0-6-6 (0.28 ppg)
Andreas Englund (20) (D) 18-1-4-5 (0.27 ppg)
Nick Paul (21) 18-1-4-5 (0.27 ppg)
Vincent Dunn (21) 8-0-2-2 (0.25 ppg) (ECHL 9-1-1-2)
Zack Stortini (31) (V) 20-2-1-3 (0.15 ppg)
Alex Krushelnyski (26) (A) 9-1-0-1 (0.11 ppg) (ECHL 6-2-5-7)
Fredrik Claesson (24) (D) 9-0-1-1 (0.11 ppg)
Chad Nehring (29) 9-0-1-1 (0.11 ppg)
Patrick Sieloff (22) (D) 19-1-1-2 (0.10 ppg)
Ben Harpur (21) (D) 17-0-1-1 (0.05 ppg)
Gabriel Gagne (20) 2-0-0-0 (ECHL 14-3-4-7)
Jason Akeson (26) (A) 3-0-0-0
Guillaume Lepine (29) (D) 14-0-0-0

Andrew Hammond (28) 0-2-0 2.56 .907
Matt O’Connor (24) 2-8-1 3.03 .895
Chris Driedger (22) 3-3-1 2.84 .890
Scott Greenham (29) (A) 0-1-0 7.00 .774 (ECHL 6-4-0 2.85 .927)

The Sens went for character signings in the off-season and the results are apparent.  The desperate addition of Akeson (who was cut by his KHL team), while it should help scoring a bit, isn’t nearly enough change to help the roster.  The blueline is atrocious (with no help coming).  Varone is the only offensive player performing near expectations.  The number of managerial mistakes here is enormous, but it’s worth going through some of them:
Stortini – why is he getting dressed?  I said it all last season and nothing has changed; should have loaned him elsewhere or bought him out
Nehring – an older player coming off a career year…and he’s regressed beyond the mean; the only “skilled” signing of the off-season, incidentally
Lepine – ECHL blueliner kept afloat by Kostka last year has regressed to the mean
Harpur – he’s terrible; he was terrible last year–trade him, loan him, something
Sieloff – why the Sens thought they could do something with him is beyond me; reminds me a bit of the flyer they took on Josh Godfrey years ago (another 2nd round pick who’d struggled), but at least that was an AHL-contract
Paul – the warning signs were there last year, but he cannot function without skilled linemates
Dunn – see below (but what a waste!)
A final note on the non-goalies: plus/minus is a terrible stat, but that said, Kostka has accumulated a truly beautiful -16 (his closest competitors are -9), while Perron and the recalled Englund are the only players with an even or plus who have played most of the season.  And yes, I realise part of Kostka‘s terrible rating is simply that he’s overplayed in an effort to make up for an awful blueline around him.

As for the goalies, Driedger had a good start to the season, but struggled since returning from his Ottawa call-up.  O’Connor is exactly what he was last season–rarely wins with his numbers all over the place–he’s consistently inconsistent.  I have to wonder: does he lose this much because the team in front of him doesn’t give him the same effort?  I’m not sure if O’Connor has value at this point, but with Hogberg in the pipeline and the big ‘tenders contract up at the end of the year, I’d dump him and let Driedger and Greenham take over (the latter is much better at the AHL level than the above numbers indicate).

wichita-thunder-logo

I know no one cares about Wichita, but I’m going to look at them anyway.  The team is 9-7-0-1, slowing down after a hot start.  I won’t go through the league numbers, but they’re in a better place than Evansville was at this time last year (I’ve noted players with Sens or BSens contracts in bold).

Alexis Loiseau 17-14-9-23
Nathan Moon 20-5-11-16
Louick Marcotte 16-4-7-11
Nick Trecapelli (D) 17-3-7-10
James Melindy (D) 17-2-7-9
Daultan Leveille 14-3-5-8
Logan Nelson 13-2-6-8
Matt DeBlouw 15-2-6-8
Mitch Holmberg 12-3-4-7
Landon Oslanski (D) 17-1-6-7
Macoy Erkamps (D) 15-0-7-7
Gerrad Grant 14-2-3-5
Blake Tatchell 14-2-3-5
Ryan Tesink 13-0-3-3
Alexis Vanier (D) 17-2-0-2
Ian Lowe 10-0-2-2
Vincent Arseneau 2-1-0-1
Martin Nemcik (D) 10-0-1-1

Scott Greenham 6-4-0 2.85 .927
Drew Owsley  3-3-0 2.49 .929

From what I can tell the primary impact the Sens affiliation has had on Wichita is getting them to trade for management favourites Nathan Moon and Daultan Leveille (from Rapid City and Elmira; both of whom played for Evansville last year–the team also trading for Moon with the Icemen).  Do these moves help the Thunder?  I really don’t know.  The Sens may have had a hand in signing BSens castaway Nick Trecapelli as well (who is good at this level).  I mentioned last time that I remembered James Melindy from the 2012 draft, I also recall Ryan Tesink from the 2011 draft.  Enough trivia.  Of the various Sens fodder included here there’s nothing to be excited about–Macoy‘s numbers are okay, but not great, and Gagne should not be struggling here.  Dunn should be loaned out of the organisation, as he’s clearly disinterested in Wichita and isn’t good enough at the AHL-level.

prospects

Finally, here’s a look at how various Sens prospects are doing:

CHL
Filip Chlapik (Charlottetown; 2-48/15) 25-20-22-42 (1st in scoring)
Filip Ahl (Regina; 4-109/15) 25-17-14-31 (tied for fourth in scoring)
Cody Donaghey (Charlottetown; T-16) 28-8-21-29 (1st in blueline scoring)
Logan Brown (Windsor; 1-11/16) 15-8-13-21 (hasn’t played since my last update)
Tomas Chabot (Saint John; 1-18/15) 12-5-12-17 (1st in blueline scoring)
Maxime Lajoie (Swift Current; 5-133/16) 28-5-11-16 (2nd in blueline scoring)

NCAA
Colin White (Boston; 1-21/15) 17-10-7-17 (sophomore; 2nd in team scoring)
Robert Baillargeon (Arizona; 5-136/12) 15-8-7-15 (senior; 1st in team in scoring)
Kelly Summers (Clarkson; 7-189/14) 18-1-7-8 (junior, 2nd in blueline scoring)
Shane Eiserman (New Hampshire; 4-100/14) 16-2-5-7 (junior; 9th in scoring)
Mile Gendron (Connecticut; 3-70/14) 17-2-5-7 (sophomore; 1st in blueline scoring)
Christian Wolanin (North Dakota; 4-107/15) 14-0-6-6 (sophomore; 3rd in blueline scoring)
Chris Leblanc (Merrimack; 6-161/13) 6-2-1-3 (senior)
Todd Burgess (RPI; 4-103/16) has not played (freshman)
Joel Daccord (Arizona; 7-199/15) 5.40 .859 (freshman; worst of three goaltenders)

Europe
Jonathan Dahlen (Timra; 2-42/16) 25-12-8-20 (2nd in scoring)
Markus Nurmi (TPS Jr; 6-163/16) 21-10-11-21 (1st in scoring)
Christian Jaros (Lulea; 5-139/15) 22-3-5-8 (tied for 2nd in blueline scoring)
Marcus Hogberg (Linkoping; 3-78/13) 2.12 .925 (better than his partner)

First, a bit of trivia: former BSen Craig Schira plays on Jaros‘ team in Sweden (the two are currently tied in scoring).  That aside, I have a few observations: the change in scenery has done a lot for Baillargeon, albeit scoring on a terrible team isn’t always a strong indicator; Hogberg has recovered from a slow start to put up his usual numbers (I keep thinking about how much better Binghamton would be if Ottawa had skipped the O’Connor experiment and gone with Driedger/Hogberg).  Generally those you expect to excel at this level are–no warning signs and no one unexpectedly overachieving.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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  1. […] Ottawa Senators System Update (Binghamton, Wichita, and Prospects) […]


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