30 in 30 Ottawa Senators

Brad Phillips

2016-07-22

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 rookie season in 2014-15 by amassing 41 points in 72 games but improved upon those numbers this past year with 37 points in only 62 games while also taking on much more defensive responsibility, munching minutes often playing against the opponent’s top players. Lajoie’s a smooth, elegant skater who has caused some to compare him to Duncan Keith. While it’s far too early to make any comparisons to a perennial Norris Trophy contender, this has the potential to be a great value pick as some pre-draft projections had him as a second or third round selection.

 

Markus Nurmi, 163rd overall RW

Looking at Nurmi, it’s easy to see why the Sens took him with their final pick, in the sixth round. The young Finn is an intriguing combination of size and goal-scoring ability. Standing 6-4 but weighing only 176 pounds, it’s clear that he will need a few years to bulk up. Skating this past year for the TPS U20 program, Nurmi led his team with 19 goals in 49 games, in addition to assisting on 17 others. His strong play even resulted in playing a couple of games for the big club in the Liiga. He was among the standout players in the development camp scrimmage, potting two goals in a victorious effort.

Development Camp:

The Senators held their prospect development camp earlier this month, giving fans a chance to get a glimpse at the future. All of the team’s 2016 picks attended, as did the rest of the club’s top prospects and a number of invitees. The full roster can be found here. A couple of players did not participate in the scrimmage or the 3-on-3 tournament, most notably Colin White due to wrist surgery and Todd Burgess due to a knee injury.

 

Among other things, prospects worked on stickhandling at Ottawa's 2016 development camp:

{youtube}WwSoutv0fx4{/youtube}

 

The line combinations for the scrimmage, in which Team Red emerged victorious 5-2, and scoring summary are as follows:

RED

Filip Ahl-Nick Paul-Gabriel Gagne

Markus Nurmi-Filip Chlapik-Shane Elserman

Eric Robinson-Domenic Commisso-Michael Babcock

 

Christian Wolanin-Brady Reagan

Thomas Chabot-Macoy Erkamps

Miles Gendron-Chris Carlisle

 

Marcus Hogberg

Joel Daccord

WHITE

Ryan Rupert-Francis Perron-Vince Dunn

Jonathan Dahlen-Logan Brown-Chris LeBlanc

Zach Saar-Hampus Gustafsson-Vito Bavarro

 

Cody Donaghey-Ben Harpur

Max Lajoie-Kelly Summers

Christian Jaros-Andreas Englund

 

Matt O’Connor

Hunter Miska

 

Red: G. Gagne (F. Ahl, N. Paul), M. Nurmi (S. Elserman, M. Gendron), B. Reagan (N. Paul), G. Gagne (F. Ahl, N. Paul), M. Nurmi (M. Gendron)

White: R. Rupert (F. Perron), F. Perron (V. Dunn)

 

In the scrimmage, the line of Nick Paul, Gabriel Gagne and Filip Ahl was dominant for Team Red. Paul had three assists while Gagne notched two of the five goals. Paul was the best player on the ice, as he should be given that he is one of the biggest players in camp and a relative veteran. Gagne was a real standout as well, using his big frame to protect the puck and driving to the net, which resulted in a couple of goals. As mentioned earlier, Markus Nurmi looked excellent as well, showing of his long reach and natural goal-scoring ability. Thomas Chabot was merely average on this day, not standing out in any one area. It’s not exactly the type of performance you’d want from one of your top prospects. Marcus Hogberg was impressive as well. As 6-4, he has the size you want for a goalie and moves well for a big man.

For Team White, the Rupert-Perron-Dunn line led the offensive attack, with Perron being the catalyst. He has so much creativity to his game and his passing ability is first-rate. Ryan Rupert was the main beneficiary, scoring once and having a couple of other dangerous scoring chances.

The top two picks, Brown and Dahlen, played together and showed some chemistry but failed to figure on the scoresheet. Dahlen was effective in all three zones and I felt he was the second best player on Team White, after Perron. Christian Jaros may never score a lot of points in the NHL, or at any level for that matter, but he has the tools to be a top-four defenseman at the highest level. He’s not the quickest player but his skating is smooth and he is strong in the defensive zone. He has the potential to be a nice ying to Thomas Chabot’s yang. Matt O’Connor might have been the worst player on the ice on this day. Surrendering three goals, two of the soft variety, he still looks to be a long way away from being an NHL goalie.

To wrap up the camp, the team held their annual half-court, basketball style 3-on-3 tournament. It was a round-robin format with the players dividing into five teams.

 

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SensDevCamp?src=hash">#SensDevCamp</a> 3-on-3 tourney starts at 9:30 a.m. and we're going to periscope some of it. Here's a look at the teams: <a href="https://t.co/WKEYDrBW6i">pic.twitter.com/WKEYDrBW6i</a></p>&mdash; Ottawa Senators (@Senators) <a href="https://twitter.com/Senators/status/749955780095447040">July 4, 2016</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

{/source}

 

Despite having the weakest team on paper, Team White emerged victorious, going 2-1-2 in the round-robin portion, topping Blue in the semis and beating Red in the final. Undrafted Zach Saar out of Penn State was my personal MVP, scoring three goals in the tournament. As in the scrimmage, Nick Paul was dominant and played like a wrecking ball, amplified by the confined space. Another player that stood out this day was Miles Gendron. A converted forward, Gendron has been playing defense full-time for only three seasons so he is still a work in progress. However, one thing that is already NHL-caliber is his skating ability. Prospect-wise he might be the best skating, and almost certainly the fastest, player in the entire organization.

Other notes

Assistant GM Randy Lee was unimpressed with Thomas Chabot’s play. Lee expected him to dominate, and he didn’t. No doubt the intention here was to light a fire under Chabot and hope that he comes to the main camp and play like he’s got something to prove. Ottawa’s backend is far from set so Chabot has an opportunity to play himself into an NHL job.

On the other hand, Nick Paul performed as expected, winning the award for the hardest-working player in camp.

 

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Congrats to <a href="https://twitter.com/NickPaul27">@NickPaul27</a> on winning the 2016 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SensDevCamp?src=hash">#SensDevCamp</a> Hardest Worker Award! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sticktap?src=hash">#sticktap</a> <a href="https://t.co/LFpP6FZIrX">pic.twitter.com/LFpP6FZIrX</a></p>&mdash; Ottawa Senators (@Senators) <a href="https://twitter.com/Senators/status/750002315722121216">July 4, 2016</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

 

Lastly, the team confirmed that Gabriel Gagne would return to junior for his overage season despite Gagne’s assertions that he wanted be turn pro. The team has one more year to decide whether to sign him, and hopes a dominant final junior season makes it an easy decision.

Offseason moves

Until earlier this week, Pierre Dorion and Co. haven’t done much of significance, merely bringing Chris Kelly back into the fold on a one-year deal. However, all that changed Monday with Ottawa and the New York Rangers hooking up on pretty big deal that saw a swap of former sixth-overall picks. Local boy Derick Brassard and a seventh-round pick came to Ottawa for Mika Zibanejad and a second-rounder going back to the Big Apple. Ottawa clearly wanted a veteran presence in the locker room. After an up-and-down start to his career, Brassard looks to be hitting his stride with back-to-back seasons of 60 and 58 points. Zibanejad is coming off the best season of his young career with 20 goals and 31 assists. He can be an enigma at times, looking all-world one night and completely invisible the next. Zibanejad is an RFA at the end of this season and is reportedly looking for a long-term deal in the $5-million to $6-million annual range, up from his current salary of $3.25 million. It doesn’t appear as if the Sens are willing to make that kind of a commitment.

 

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Sens 2011 draft was supposed to be backbone of rebuild:<br><br>Zibanejad – traded <br>Noesen – traded<br>Puempel – On two-way contract. <br>Prince – traded</p>&mdash; Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) <a href="https://twitter.com/ian_mendes/status/755105251275993089">July 18, 2016</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

LATEST PROFILE UPDATES

Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Jayce Hawryluk 5.8 7.0
Timothy Liljegren 7.0 8.5
Rasmus Sandin 7.5 9.5
Klim Kostin 7.5 7.0
Ty Emberson 4.0 3.0
Matias Maccelli 7.5 5.5
Tyler Lewington 3.0 3.0
Kody Clark 5.0 4.5
Oskar Magnusson 6.5 3.0
Travis Boyd 5.0 8.0

LATEST PODCASTS

instat logo

[gs-fb-comments]

FIND US ON FACEBOOK