Ottawa Senators: August 30 in 30

Peter Harling


Ottawa Senators

On the whole, the draft has not been a kind beast to the Senators this decade. While they have had a measure of success in unearthing potential gems in the later rounds, a number of their first round picks have not panned out as hoped. This tweet was included in last month’s article but it bears repeating


{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="">July 18, 2016</a></blockquote>

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Of the 28 picks made between 2010 and 2013, four have become NHL regulars; Mark Stone, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Curtis Lazar and Codi Ceci. With the exception of Stone, none of them have what you would consider game-breaking potential. But with strong recent drafts things look to be on the upswing









Francis Perron

Colin White

Gabriel Gagne

Nick Paul

Logan Brown

Marcus Nurmi

Filip Ahl

Jonathan Dahlen

Buddy Robinson

Matt Puempel

Filip Chlapik

Chris Leblanc

Ryan Dzingel

Todd Burgess


Max McCormick

Robbie Baillargeron








Thomas Chabot


Frederik Claesson

Macoy Erkamps


Christian Jaros

Christian Wolanin


Andreas Englund

Kelly Summers


Miles Gendron








Marcus Hogberg



Chris Driedger



Matt O'Connor



Joel Daccord






Francis Perron

It was a landmark season for the offensively gifted seventh rounder. Perron finished second in QMJHL scoring with 41 goals and 67 assists and earned the Michel Briere Trophy for league MVP. But the accolades didn’t stop there. Perron was named to the QMJHL First All-Star Team, won the Guy Lafleur Trophy as playoff MVP by leading the league in scoring with 33 points en route to league championship and was named CHL Memorial Cup Most Sportsmanlike Player. Signed to an entry level deal in the spring he’ll start his pro career in the AHL and will need a bit of time there as he still has some work to do on the defensive side of the puck. But offensively he has as much upside as an player in the organization.


Colin White

Colin White was one of the best freshmen in the NCAA this year. Among first year players the Boston College star finished fourth in scoring with 43 points in 41 games and was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team and Second Team All-Star. On the international stage, White was among the standouts for the bronze medal winning team USA at the World Junior Championship scoring seven points in as many games. Ottawa was eager to sign him at the end of the season but instead White decided to return to Chestnut Hill for another season with the Golden Eagles where he will no doubt shoulder a heavy load of the offense.


Ryan Dzingel

Not much was expected out of Dzingel when he was picked in the seventh round five year ago. But in the time since all he has done is produced at every level. In 119 AHL games to date, the former Hobey Baker nominee has produced to the tune of 0.65 ppg. This earned him a call-up in December and saw action in his first NHL game before being sent back down two days later. But it wasn’t the last we saw of Dzingel as he came back for good in February. In total he played in 30 games finding the back of the net three times and adding six assists in just under 11 minutes of ice/game. While a roster spot is by no means a lock for this upcoming season, he should have a leg up over other prospects when training camp opens.





Matt O’Connor

The grand prize of the undrafted college free agent derby of 2015, it’s safe to say that O’Connor has failed to live up to expectations since coming out of Boston University to much ballyhoo. Splitting crease time in Binghamton, O’Connor posted a record of 10-20-3 with a 0.895 SVS and 3.31 GAA. On a positive note for him, he was the starting goalie for the home opener in Ottawa. But it’s fair to say that owner Eugene Melnyk did not approve.


{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="">#Senators</a> owner Eugene Melnyk used the word &quot;stupidity&quot; in connection with the decision to play rookie G Matt O'Connor in home opener.</p>&mdash; Chris Stevenson (@CJ_Stevenson) <a href="">March 22, 2016</a></blockquote>

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Entering the second and final year of entry level deal, he’ll need to make a huge improvement in order to stay in the Sens future plans.


Matt Puempel

The third and only remaining player selected by Ottawa in the first round of 2011, Puempel has shown an ability to produce in the AHL but has failed to make a similar impact at the NHL level. In 39 career NHL games to date he has scored four goals and two assists. Yo-yoing between Ottawa and Binghamton this past season, it was difficult for for Puempel to establish any chemistry with some linemates over a sustained period of time. With turnover at the top of the organization in the form of GM Pierre Dorion and head coach Guy Boucher, Puempel sees this as an opportunity to have a fresh start. Signed to a one-year, two-way deal, it’s now or never.


{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="">@Senators</a> prospect Matt Puempel is looking to establish himself as a full-time NHLer → <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; AHL (@TheAHL) <a href="">August 12, 2016</a></blockquote>

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Gabriel Gagne

A strong playoff run saved the season from being a total bust but overall it was a season that Gagne no doubt wants to put behind him. An injury limited him to seeing just 34 games of regular season action scoring 17 goals and assisting on 19 others. After averaging 0.52 goals per game in 2014-15, Gagne saw that number drop to 0.40. For someone pegged as a sniper this has to be considered a disappointment, especially considering the fact that he played most of his games with high powered Shawinigan Cataractes. Vocal in his desire to turn pro, management has other ideas deciding to send him back for a fourth junior season. How he plays in reaction to this will be telling. Will he sulk? Or play like he has something to prove?


Top 10


#1 Colin White – Two-way centre who will play on the top two lines and in all situations. 1-2 years away. 65-70 points
#2 Logan Brown – Top line playmaking centre, 2-3 years away, 70-75 points
#3 Thomas Chabot – Top pairing d-man. 1-2 years away. 50-55 points.
#4 Nick Paul – Top six power forward. Should arrive this fall. 50-60 points
#5 Francis Perron – Top six puck wizard winger that makes those around him better. 2-3 years away. 65-70 points.
#6 Matt Puempel – Middle six winger. This fall. 45-50 points
#7 Gabriel Gagne – Middle six sniping winger with boom or bust potential. 2-3 years away. 50-60 points
#8 Ryan Dzingel – Bottom six energy winger who can also contribute offensively. This fall. 35-40 points
#9 Filip Chlapik – Middle six playmaking centre. 50-55 points.
#10 Marcus Hogberg – #1 goaltender potential. 2-3 years away.


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Antti Tuomisto 4.5 6.0
Aku Räty 5.8 5.0
Miko Matikka 6.5 6.5
Nathan Smith 6.2 6.0
Jan Jenik 7.2 6.5
Ilya Fedotov 6.0 3.0
Noel Nordh 6.5 7.0
Daniil But 8.5 7.5
Julian Lutz 7.0 7.5
Dylan Guenther 8.5 8.5