Senators News & Notes

Melnyk Boro

Christmas does come early sometimes and Eugene Melnyk offered us an early present with a delightfully awkward ‘promotional’ video featuring everyone’s favourite local boy/character guy/good-in-the-corners Sen Mark Borowiecki. For some fans this ridiculous spectacle might be the straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of their perception of Melnyk/the org, while for myself it’s simply another in a long line of examples of his issues as an owner. Chris Stevenson (paywall) breaks it down and among the hilarity is this from Eugene:

I think this coming year, we’re going to have 10 out of the 22 players are going to be new, meaning they’re either rookies or they’ve played maybe under 10 games last year. Then the following year, it’s going to go up to about 15 of the 22, maybe 16.

Forgive me if I don’t recall, but when did Melnyk announce himself as GM? Since he’s making personnel decisions, his lackey (Pierre Dorion) must be working the phones hard to clear space for ten rookies. When I went over the potential BSen lineup like a sane person I was assuming only Colin WhiteLogan Brown and Christian Wolanin (among those with AHL-eligibility) would play regularly with the Sens and while it wouldn’t be difficult to imagine Brady Tkachuk and (possibly) even Alex Formenton on the team, arriving at ten rookies isn’t easy. Admittedly, I’m confident Melnyk made up both numbers on the spot (he wouldn’t be cap compliant with sixteen), and what does ‘either rookies or under ten games’ mean anyway–if they’ve played ten games they are still rookies. It’s the kind of stupid (audacious?) statement that routinely comes out of his mouth. He then added:

you are not going to win

That has to buoy ticket sales. I agree with him, incidentally (see below), but I’m not sure the Sens marketing folks are going to jump for joy at hearing that. Stevenson is correct, I believe, in translating Melnyk to mean he’s dumping his expensive players and going cheap for a rebuild (or sorts) while expressing it in the worst way possible. This isn’t a surprise and I’m glad it shatters any illusions the fanbase might have had that we were going to get a sensible way out of this clusterfuck. This does, btw, fit Steve Lloyd and Gord Wilson’s ebullient prospect praise as they fall in line with where the org is going. I suspect TSN 1200 is going to be pumping the tires of prospects as hard as they did in 2011 to provide some hope (for those interested in a perspective founded in the scouting material go here).

Funnily enough I actually approve of the idea of a rebuild in abstract, but it requires a better scouting apparatus, a better GM, and a better owner.

analysis

The Athletic‘s Dom Luszczyszyn previewed (paywall) the Sens and ripped them apart–great analysis that has no local bias impacting it. Dom projects them to finish the season with a meager 77 points (which is slightly higher than the other methodologies he references, providing a range of 71-77 points). He’s not a fan of org favourties Tom Pyatt, Max McCormick, Borowiecki, Ceci, or the goaltending (nor am I). It’s fully worth the read, although for those who’ve been paying attention I don’t think you’ll find his analysis or conclusions surprising.

Image result for final countdown

The Silver Seven completed its countdown of the top Sens prospects and I wanted to comment on it (you can see my list here). My intention is to both assess it and make suggestions for how it can be improved. As I’ve mentioned previously I wish prospect analysts would cite scouting reports and (where available) statistical data in their assessment, but The Silver Seven doesn’t have a universal approach–each writer does their own thing (I’m not a huge fan of the under-25 format either, since there’s a big difference in a known pro quantity like Cody Ceci and a college free agent like Andrew Sturtz). Some of the writers are more or less unfamiliar with players who haven’t appeared at the NHL level–this is understandable, but if that’s the case, why not divide the prospects up to suit the comfort level of the writer? Let’s briefly go the material:

  • Ary (Joel Daccord, Francis Perron, Markus Nurmi, Alex Formenton) – thoroughly researched and analyzed, hunting down information that isn’t easily accessible; they are among the best of the articles written for the series
  • Ross A (Parker Kelly, Ben Harpur, Jacob Bernard-Docker, Brady Tkachuk) – he’s inconsistent; a largely descriptive piece for Kelly rather than analytical (when I mentioned it would help to have included scouting material he subsequently added it); his Harpur piece is good, albeit none of the AHL or amateur scouting material is used; the JB-D article is solid, but more scouting material would help (multiple reports offer a clearer picture); the Tkachuk piece is well-rounded (although it includes notes from development camp which isn’t something I’d bother with)
  • Beata Elliott (Andreas Englund, Nick Paul, Thomas Chabot) – her Englund scouting link is actually an Ottawa Citizen article where Englund talks about himself (which isn’t that useful); she does better with Paul’s NHL-side, but the complete lack of amateur scouting material or AHL-elements means the content doesn’t add much to our picture of him; her Chabot material has neither scouting or analytics material whatsoever which is very disappointing (Beata’s comment that she doesn’t pay much attention to prospects makes me wonder why she’s writing about them)
  • Colin Cudmore (Jonathan Gruden, Jonathan Tychonick, Filip Chlapik) – he’s very thorough on Gruden with statistical data included; the Tychonick piece is also good, although I would have liked more than just one scouting report to work on (for a balanced picture); Chlapik’s is quite thorough (and includes the AHL data)
  • B_T (Cody Ceci, Colin White) – his Ceci piece is excellent and packed with analysis; the White post is strong on the limited NHL sample, but has nothing useful from his many games in the AHL (his comment that he doesn’t really follow prospects makes me question why he’s writing about them–and if you are, at least put the effort in to be thorough)
  • Spencer Blake (Maxime Lajoe, Gabriel Gagne, Logan Brown) – starts off as descriptive with Lajoie, but does use the AHL-material (amateur scouting would have been nice as well, but it’s not a crippling absence); his Gagne piece is only descriptive, which sadly means it adds very little (there’s no AHL material or amateur scouting material); conversely the Brown piece is very good, featuring very useful statistical analysis
  • NKB (Aaron Luchuk, Marcus Hogberg) – Luchuk is only descriptive with no scouting material; his Hogberg profile is better (I’m happy he linked my AHL stuff, but it would have been nice to see it used for analysis)
  • N_Dew (Christian Jaros, Drake Batherson, Filip Gustavsson, Chrisian Wolanin) – purely descriptive for Jaros & Batherson with the only insights via SensProspects about Development Camp (!)–there’s no scouting reports used for Wolanin (not even the SensProspects treatment); there’s a scouting report for Gustavsson (although as I’ve said earlier, you want multiple when you can get them), but not much else

The content of the list is wildly inconsistent–among absolute gems is useless fluff (descriptors with highlights). The latter approach would be fine if that was the aim, but the point of the list is assessing players to justify their place on it and as it is I don’t think it works. My suggestion to The Silver Seven is to provide guidance to the contributors and help them out with material–the scouting reports aren’t that hard to find (I have it all here, but Google is another good resource); the AHL material is harder to find (in many instances I’m the only source), but it is available. Statistical and/or comparative analysis would be wonderful as well (where it has been used it adds a great deal).

My favourite two profiles were on Nurmi (Ary) and Gruden (Colin); the worst were Wolanin, Jaros, and Batherson (all Dew) and Chabot (Beata), which are pretty big misses. I can’t fully compare their final list to my own because of our different methodologies, but we can put their rankings next to my own (for the ‘why’ of my list just follow the link):

Goaltenders
1. Filip Gustavsson – #8
2. Marcus Hogberg – #14
3. Kevin Mandolese – NR
4. Jordan Hollett – NR
5. Joel Daccord – #24

Defense
1. Jonny Tychonick – #12
2. Christian Wolanin – #6
3. Christian Jaros – #11
4. Jacob Bernard-Docker – #13
5. Maxime Lajoie – #17
6. Julius Bergman – NR
7. Andreas Englund – #23
8. Macoy Erkamps – NR

Forwards
1. Logan Brown – #2
2. Brady Tkachuk – #4
3. Filip Chlapik – #5
4. Drake Batherson – #9
5. Gabriel Gagne – #16
6. Colin White – #3
7. Alex Formenton – #10
8. Andrew Sturtz – NR
9. Aaron Luchuk – #15
10. Francis Perron – #21
11. Todd Burgess – NR
12. Markus Nurmi – #20
13. Parker Kelly – #25
14. Jakov Novak – NR
15. Nick Paul – #19
16. Adam Tambellini – NR
17. Johnny Gruden – #22
18. Angus Crookshank – NR
19. Filip Ahl – NR
20. Jack Rodewald – NR
21. Luke Loheit – NR

Due to my approach I don’t have Chabot (#1), Ceci (#7), or Harpur (#18) listed.

Free_Agent_logo_2

With training camps around the corner we can finally look at which free agent prospects were signed as well as how many were picked from my 2018 list of European free agents. It’s an auspicious year for me as 12 players from that list were signed, along with 5 from previous lists (2 from 2017, 1 from 2016, 1 from 2015, and 1 from 2012–Kovar, although the Islanders are getting him on the decline after he spent his best years in the KHL). This year see’s a decline in NCAA signings, once by far the largest pool of FA talent for NHL teams (last year it was 24 NCAA, 21 Europe, and 9 CHL). The pendulum has swung to Europe this year, which might be due to improved scouting. I’ve highlighted those from the 2018 list in bold and added italics for those from earlier lists:

Europe (35): Vincent Praplan (SJ), Niclas Westerholm (Nsh), Lukas Radil (SJ), Yannick Rathgeb (NYI), Miroslav Svoboda (Nsh–originally drafted by Edm), Dominik Kahun (Chi), Michael Lindqvist (NYR), Juuso Ikonen (Wsh), Ville Meskanen (NYR), Filip Pyrochta (Nsh), Maximilian Kammerer (Wsh), Carl Persson (Nsh – attended Ott’s development camp in 2018), Lawrence Pilut (Buf), Igor Ozhiganov (Tor), Par Lindholm (Tor), Joel Persson (Edm), Saku Maenalanen (Car–originally drafted by Nsh), Juuso Riikola (Pit), Yegor Yakovlev (NJ), Kevin Lankinen (Chi), Patrik Rybar (Det), Ilya Lyubushkin (Ari), Michal Moravcik (Mtl), David Sklenicka (Mtl), Jacob Nilsson (Chi), Bogdan Kiselevich (Flo), Antti Suomela (SJ), Marcus Hogstrom (Cal), Yasin Ehliz (Cal), Brooks Macek (LVK), Martin Bakos (Bos), Michael Fora (Car), Veini Vehvilainen (Clb; drafted rather than signed), Jan Kovar (NYI), Sergei Shumakov (Wsh)
NCAA (18): Zach Frye (SJ), Zach Whitecloud (VGK), Merrick Madsen (Ari–originally drafted by Phi), Cooper Marody (Edm–originally drafted by Phi), Cam Johnson (NJ), Mitch Reinke (Stl), Eric Robinson (Clb), Andrew Sturtz (Ott), Daniel Brickley (LA), Sheldon Rempal (LA), Josh Dickinson (Col), Tony Calderone (Dal), Karson Kuhlman (Bos), Andrew Oglevie (Buf), Jordan Gross (Ari), Ross Colton (TB), Joel L’Esperance (Dal), Logan O’Connor (Col)
CHL (8): Patrick Bajkov (Flo), Hayden Verbeek (Mtl), Tanner Jeannot (Nsh), Alexandre Alain (Mtl), Brad Morrison (LA–originally drafted by NYR), Aaron Luchuk (Ott), Skyler McKenzie (Win), Vladislav Kotkov (SJ)

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Advertisements

3 Comments

  1. […] Senators News & Notes […]

  2. […] couple of more free agents to add to the NHL-pile from the CHL: Yegor Zamula (Phi) and Joel Teasdale […]

  3. […] A couple of more free agent signings to add to the list: […]


Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.