Former NHL blueliner Jeff Brown is not a small man, but he's dwarfed by his 6-6 son Logan, for whom the Ottawa Senators traded up to select 11th overall in the 2016 NHL entry draft.
It was a disappointing season in the nation’s capital as the Senators failed to follow up on an unlikely playoff berth in 2014-15, which was largely due to otherworldly play by the one and only Hamburglar. A repeat performance by Andrew Hammond was unlikely, but that didn’t stop management from voicing their displeasure.
Head coach Dave Cameron took the fall for the team’s shortcomings. Guy Boucher was hired in his place along with Marc Crawford as associate coach.
Whether they have the talent required to be a playoff-caliber team is debatable. Unfortunately, for Sens fans more of the same is likely in the cards for the coming season, as there aren’t any game-changers internally ready to step into the lineup this season. However, thanks to strong 2015 and 2016 drafts, the organization is on the upswing.
2016 entry draft
Logan Brown 11th overall – C
Originally holding the 12th overall pick, the Senators sacrificed a third-rounder to move up one spot to grab the massive pivot. The son of former high-scoring NHL defenseman Jeff Brown, Logan appears to have inherited the same offensive gifts as his father. Standing 6-6 and tipping the scales at 210, the first thing you’ll notice about him is his size. Unlike most big players, Brown possesses elite playmaking ability. Add it all up and comparisons to Joe Thornton are inevitable. Skating for the Windsor Spitfires this past season, he posted 74 points, 59 of them helpers, in 59 games.
Brown’s going to an ideal situation for him. Upon being drafted, he said it was a dream come true, as Ottawa is his second home. His father is the coach of the Ottawa 67’s and maintains a residence there year-round, so Logan plans on spending the summer in Ottawa, giving him daily access to the Senators’ facilities and coaching/training staff.
Jonathan Dahlen, 42nd overall – C
With its second pick, Ottawa went back to the son of a former NHLer by plucking the son of Ulf Dahlen from Timra in the Allsvenskan league in Sweden. He was the offensive catalyst for an offensively anemic Timra squad, leading the team with 15 goals and 29 points. He’s not a high-end skater but is very quick. Despite his size, he’s not afraid to get to high-danger scoring areas or drive to the net, where he can unleash his quick wrister or dangle past a defender. Defensively, he’s aware like his father, coming back into his own zone having his head on a swivel.
He still has some filling out to do but he should safely project as a complementary middle-six winger. Think a slower Carl Hagelin but with better hands.
Todd Burgess, 103rd overall – RW
In the fourth round, Ottawa snatched Todd Burgess from the Fairbanks Ice Dogs who was the leading scorer out of the Tier II NAHL. It was somewhat of a curious pick given the level of competition and that this was his third year of draft eligibility. The NAHL is not exactly known as an NHL prospect factory but they have produced such notable NHL players such as Mike York, Jim Slater and most recently Patrick Maroon. In fact, Burgess’ numbers are very similar to Maroon’s in his draft year, albeit Maroon was one year younger. Wearing the C for the Ice Dogs, Burgess scored 38 goals and assisted on 57 others for 95 points and a 1.58 PPG.
He clearly has some offensive ability but the true test of his skills will be this fall when he plays against a much higher level of competition in the NCAA, as he is slated to attend RPI.
Max Lajoie, 133rd overall – D
Ottawa picked their only defenseman with their fifth-round pick by selecting Max Lajoie of the Swift Current Broncos. He’s known more for his offensive skills but worked hard to improve on his defense this year. He had a great rook