July 31-in-31: Ottawa Senators

Brad Phillips

2017-07-21

The Senators have done a nice job over the past couple of drafts assembling a stable of high end

prospects in the way of Thomas Chabot, Colin White, Logan Brown. The 2017 draft class likely won’t

yield any talent at that level but they did well working with what they had. As a result of some

wheeling and dealing, the Senators came into the 2017 NHL Draft a bit short-handed with just four

selections at their disposal. Ottawa had picks in the first, second, fourth and sixth rounds.

 

1st round, 28th overall: Shane Bowers

Sitting on the sidelines until late in the first round thanks to some great team (i.e. Erik Karlsson) play

that saw them make a somewhat unexpected run to the Eastern Conference final, Ottawa grabbed

Shane Bowers out of the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks. In 60 games he produced at just under a

point-per-game clip with 22 goals, 29 helpers and 51 points. The latter two marks were team highs

and the 51 points were 12th most in the entire USHL. If you Google Shane Bowers, you’ll be hard

pressed finding a result without the word “safe pick” in the title with some likening him to a poor

man’s version of another Senators prospect, Colin White. The future Boston Terrier plays a rock solid

200 foot game and while he doesn’t possess high end offensive skills he’s no slouch in that

department either. In a few years management likely hopes to have a centre trio of Brown, White and

Bowers patrolling the middle of the ice. Think of him as the Pittsburgh era Jordan Staal of the group.

 

2nd round, 47th overall: Alex Formenton

With the pick acquired from Calgary in the Curtis Lazar trade, having lost their own to Toronto for

Dion Phaneuf, the Senators selected speedster Alex Formenton out of the OHL’s London Knights. He’s

still a relative baby making the 2017 draft cutoff by just two days. He was stuck in a bottom-six role

that capped his production at 34 points in 65 games. But he should be due for an increased role with

some graduating forwards. Formenton is still rail thin standing at 6-02 and just 162 pounds, having

experienced a massive growth spurt over the past couple of years.

 

4th round, 121st overall: Drake Batherson

With their third pick of the draft, Pierre Dorion and crew dipped their toes into the QMJHL waters by

selecting overager Drake Batherson from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. There’s a bit of history

between the Senators and the Batherson family as Drake’s dad Norm spent a year in the organization

and his uncle is former Senator tough guy Dennis Vial. The selection here is very similar to last year’s

fourth round pick Todd Burgess, another overager. They are betting on Batherson being the definition

of a late-bloomer. He didn’t play in his first QMJHL campaign until he was 18 but the results were

impressive, with 22 goals and 36 assist in 61 game