Senators News & Notes


August is a rough time for hockey blogs, so what can you do? Lists and polls, generally, and the more drawn out you can make the former the better. In that spirit The Silver Seven are counting down their top-25 prospects, which in turn gives me something to work with. It’s a list in progress, but I’ll offer thoughts as it goes (I’ve listed the author next to the player’s name).

#25 Macoy Erkamps (Colin)
DR, 22, CHL FA 16, ECHL 58-6-19-25 (2nd d-scoring)
First to note: Colin is understandably not that familiar with ECHL play (as in seeing it), nor does he reflect on Ottawa’s relative success in signing players out of the CHL (you can read about that here), so understandably he can only speak from the stat sheet about the awful Wichita team Erkamps played for (having seen him play there, I can say he was a solid rookie in the ECHL, but not a great one). Colin correctly identifies that Erkamps and Cody Donaghey are in direct competition for the third-pairing spot on the right side (Chabot and Burgoerfer presumed 1-2), but I think that’s more up in the air than he does. The odds are Erkamps is a version of Troy Rutkowski (another CHL-signing by the org from 2013, who is playing in Norway now), where he’ll be good in the E but questionable in the A; there’s time for that assessment to change

#24 Kelly Summers (Ary M)
DR, 21, 7-189/14, NCAA (junior) 39-3-14-17 (3rd ppg d-scoring)
Neither Ary or I have seen much of the NCAA blueliner’s play, so interpretations are based on scouting reports and stats (these are nicely combed through in the piece). There’s nothing that stands out about Summers either way and Ary observantly points out how badly the Sens NCAA picks have turned out between 2012-14; Summers needs a big season at Clarkson this year to be signed or he’ll join the rubbish heap of other failed selections; what makes him more promising than Erkamps? The direct comparison isn’t made (here or elsewhere), but I’ll presume it’s based on potential ceilings (scouts topped him out as a 5-6 D)

#23 Markus Nurmi (NKB)
RW/LW, 19, 6-163/16, Finn Jr 27-12-16-28 (1st ppg)
Given that NKB doesn’t site scouting reports on him (I reference them here), he’s completely dependent on the stat sheet. The org doesn’t seem to know what he is either (other than “big”), which creates something of a bind. Nurmi do well to play a year in the CHL (as Tobias Lindberg and Filip Ahl did), but he wasn’t taken in the import draft so that’s not an option. Because he’s a bigger player he’ll get a lot more rope from the org than others (ie, Marcus Sorensen, now with San Jose), but is his ceiling higher than Summers? Scouts saw him topping out as a checking forward with limited offensive potential–I think a depth forward loses to a depth blueliner, but Nurmi is younger so perhaps there’s more hoped for growth

#22 Cody Donaghey (Raaymakers)
DR, 21, CHL FA 14 (Tor), QMJHL 52-11-29-40 (1st d-scoring)
The Raaymaker has never seen him play, making for a short and ephemeral write-up. Because Erkamps is more responsible defensively it’s quite possible Donaghey will be the one sent to the ECHL (the org seems to have little interest in him, burning a year off his ELC when Binghamton had a weak blueline and never bringing him up when discussing prospects). He was signed by the Leafs based on skill, so the hope has to be that that will translate–is that potential putting him ahead of others? Presumably

#21 Drake Batherson (NKB)
CR, 19, 4-121/17, QMJHL 61-22-36-58 (3rd scoring)
We have the exact same vagaries as the Nurmi piece above. The best thing about the write-up is the link to Ian Tulloch’s post on drafting overagers, which is itself indebted to the work of others.  Tulloch writes:

Although overagers appear to become NHL players more often than those in their draft year, it’s important to note that they tend to have a lower ceiling.

Then adding something the Sens never seem to take to heart:

scoring (in conjunction with traditional scouting) is the best predictor we currently have for future success

Batherson beats those above presumably based on potential; as I said in my review of the 2017 draft, whatever happens at least he was drafted based on skill

#20 Christian Wolanin (Colin)
DL, 22, 4-107/15, NCAA (sophomore) 37-6-16-22 (2nd d-scoring)
All the usual caveats apply in terms of the basis for the assessment. Colin points out Wolanin began life as a forward (switching to D in the USHL), although the listed competition for him whenever he turns pro is off (Patrick Sieloff is just a warm body and Maxime Lajoie’s pedigree is nothing to get excited about). He cites Vollman’s translation factors to guesstimate the kind of performance Wolanin had this season, but I remain skeptical about these translations (as I’ve gone over before). I like Wolanin’s potential, but he’s benefited from good teammates so we’ll see how his junior year goes without them

#19 Alex Formenton (Trevor)
LW, 17, 2-47/17, OHL 65-16-18-34 (11th in scoring)
Trevor compares him to Ryan Dzingel, which is problematic on two fronts: 1) as a seventh-round pick there were no expectations for Dzingel, 2) Dzingel was drafted for skill. Trevor bends over backwards trying to add some sizzle to what is a very safe, low-ceiling prospect, but with the information we have (scouting reports etc) he’s nothing to run a temperature over as all scouts questioned his offensive creativity


I had a reader tell me the Sens will still use Wichita as their ECHL dumping grounds, despite it no longer being their affiliate (Edmonton has that connection). S/he cited Malcolm Cameron (Wichita’s coach) as the source for this info, which seems to come from an article in The Sin Bin calling Ottawa an “unofficial partner” (the Wichita website calls them a “partner”), with Cameron saying the Sens will supply at least one goaltender (with how overstuffed the BSens roster is I’m sure more will be sent down–Vincent Dunn should be apartment hunting right now). Edmonton is believed to be supplying three forwards, two defensemen, and a goaltender. The ECHL has a 4-veteran rule (260+ professional games, with players on AHL or NHL contracts exempted). The professional rule includes most European leagues, but not the Austrian league (EBEL), which I point out for reasons apparent below. As for Wichita itself, these are their current players (vets in blue):

Jeremy Beaudry (DR) CIS 26-9-11-20 – former QMJHL player had a brief audition with Wichita last season
Etienne Boutet (DL) CIS 7-2-2-4 – another former Q player
Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin (DL) QMJHL 68-6-10-16 – known for his fists
Jamie Doornbosch (DL) ECHL 44-10-20-30 – former CIS and OHL player; got an audition with the BSens this past season
Justin Hammonic (DR) ECHL 38-0-2-2 – no relation to Travis; former WHL player with no hands

Justin Crandall (RW) ECHL 66-22-36-58 – college grad signed away from Reading
Matt DeBlouw (CL) ECHL 64-14-24-38 – college grad and former Calgary pick (7-186/12) who had a middling rookie season
Travis Ewanyk (CL) ECHL 74-20-27-47 – former Oiler pick (3-74-/11) who bombed out as a BSen
Louick Marcotte (RW) ECHL 62-18-20-38 – Q grad was decent last season
Shaquille Merasty (LW) CIS 26-8-13-21 – switched from tier-2 college to CIS hockey
Istvan Sofron (RW) EBEL 49-15-15-30 – Hungarian vet has spent most of his career in the Austrian league–presumably he wants to test himself across the pond (or maybe the money was better); given his struggles in the DEL it’s hard to know what to expect
Dyson Stevenson (CR/RW) ECHL 53-10-19-29 – former WHLer known for his fists

Given how much more of the roster is coming from elsewhere it’s hard to judge what’s here, although I’m not sure how many goons the team really needs. Regardless, with two NHL franchises feeding in talent it should help the team escape the doldrums of last year.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)



  1. […] Senators News & Notes […]

  2. […] we know are through comments from elsewhere. The answer has two parts: -since the off-season the Wichita website has referred to Ottawa as a partner; comments from the coach in July indicated that the commitment […]

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