July 31-in-31: Ottawa Senators

by Brad Phillips on July 21, 2017

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 games and another 12 points in 11 post-season games to

lead the Screaming Eagles. Like Formenton, he’s has also gone through a significant growth spurt,

shooting up eight inches since his minor midget season. Batherson packs a solid offensive punch in his

game and could be in line for a huge season with vets Massimo Carozza and Giovanni Fiore finishing

their QMJHL.

 

6th round, 183rd overall: Jordan Hollett

With their last pick the Senators selected goaltender Jordan Hollett form the Regina Pats. Hollett is a

beast at 6-05 and weighing 194 pounds. He served as the backup for the juggernaut that was the Pats

posting an eye popping 15-2-0 record, however his GAA and SVS were a bit more pedestrian at 2.83

and 0.901 respectively. Dealt to Medicine Hat, Hollett should get into a lot more games that he did

this past season. The Sens like his athleticism but acknowledge that he’s a long term investment as is

usually the case with goalies. Outside of Marcus Hogberg there’s not much in the way of a goalie

pipeline for Ottawa so Hollett is going to a good situation.

 

Development Camp

The 2017 development camp was held at the end of June and early July with all of the recent draftees

in attendance. The full list is below

GOALIES

4 * Daccord, Joel G 6-3 200 20 Arizona State (NCAA Ind.) 2015 draft, 199th

35 * Hogberg, Marcus G 6-5 224 22 Linköping (SHL), Binghamton (AHL) 2013 draft, 78th

29 Hollett, Jordan G 6-4 194 18 Regina (WHL) 2017 draft, 183rd

33 Lavigne, Hayden G 6-3 200 21 Michigan (Big-10) Not drafted

DEFENCEMEN

90 Beaudoin, Charles-David D 6-0 185 23 UQTR (OUA), Tulsa (ECHL), Binghamton (AHL) Not drafted

72 * Chabot, Thomas D 6-2 195 20 Saint John (QMJHL), Ottawa (NHL) 2015 draft, 18th

63 * Donaghey, Cody D 6-1 195 21 Charlottetown (QMJHL), Sherbrooke (QMJHL) Not drafted 39 *

Englund, Andreas D 6-4 204 21 Binghamton (AHL), Ottawa (NHL) 2014 draft, 40th

80 * Erkamps, Macoy D 6-0 195 22 Wichita (ECHL), Binghamton (AHL) Not drafted

85 * Gendron, Miles D 6-3 185 21 Connecticut (H-East) 2014 draft, 70th

83 * Jaros, Christian D 6-3 218 21 Luleå (SHL) 2015 draft, 139th

58 * Lajoie, Maxime D 6-1 182 20 Swift Current (WHL) 2016 draft, 133rd

79 Melancon, T.J. D 6-2 201 20 Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL) Not drafted

56 Murray, Jordan D 6-2 197 24 New Brunswick (AUS), Binghamton (AHL) Not drafted

54 Pachal, Brayden D 6-0 195 17 Victoria (WHL), Prince Albert (WHL) Not drafted

55 Peski, Andrew D 6-0 208 20 North Dakota (NCHC) Not drafted

70 * Summers, Kelly D 6-2 198 21 Clarkson (ECAC) 2014 draft, 189th

86 * Wolanin, Christian D 6-1 185 22 North Dakota (NCHC) 2015 draft, 107th

FORWARDS

76 * Ahl, Filip LW 6-4 218 20 Regina (WHL) 2015 draft, 109th

75 * Babcock, Michael RW 5-9 160 22 Merrimack College (H-East) Not drafted

66 Batherson, Drake C 6-1 187 19 Cape Breton (QMJHL) 2017 draft, 121st

48 Bowers, Shane C 6-1 178 17 Waterloo (USHL) 2017 draft, 28th

51 * Brown, Logan C 6-6 216 19 Windsor (OHL) 2016 draft, 11th

62 * Burgess, Todd C 6-2 175 21 RPI (ECAC) 2016 draft, 103rd

78 * Chlapik, Filip C 6-2 204 20 Charlottetown (QMJHL) 2015 draft, 48th

64 * Eiserman, Shane RW 6-2 216 21 New Hampshire (H-East) 2014 draft, 100th

59 Formenton, Alex LW 6-1 166 17 London (OHL) 2017 draft, 47th

71 * Gagne, Gabriel RW 6-5 192 20 Wichita (ECHL), Binghamton (AHL) 2015 draft, 36th

57 Gennaro, Matteo C 6-2 196 20 Calgary (WHL) 2015 draft, 203rd (WPG)

60 Gaudet, Jake C 6-2 193 21 Kemptville (CCHL) Not drafted

45 Kelly, Parker C 5-11 169 18 Prince Albert (WHL) Not drafted

84 Maier, Cole LW 6-1 195 22 Union College (ECAC) Not drafted

94 Master, Nick C 5-11 185 22 UMass-Lowell (H-East) Not drafted

52 * Nurmi, Markus RW 6-5 180 18 TPS (SM-liiga Jr.) TPS Turku (SM-liiga), Tuto (Mestis) 2016 draft,

163rd

13 * Paul, Nick C 6-3 224 22 Binghamton (AHL), Ottawa (NHL) 2013 draft, 101st (DAL)

47 * Perron, Francis RW 6-0 165 21 Binghamton (AHL) 2014 draft, 190th

46 Persson, Carl C 6-0 192 22 Bofors IK (Allsvenskan) Not drafted

53 Rodewald, Jack RW 6-2 188 23 Wichita (ECHL), Binghamton (AHL) Not drafted

49 Topping, Jordan LW 6-1 198 19 Tri-City (WHL) Not drafted

82 * White, Colin C 6-1 185 20 Boston College (H-East), Binghamton (AHL), Ottawa (NHL) 2015 draft,

21st

*Attended last year’s camp

A few takeaways:

Andreas Englund was awarded the hardest working Senator joining other recent winners such

as Nick Paul, Frederik Claesson and Curtis Lazar. From Assistant GM Randy Lee “it was

everything he did this week. It was how he carried himself on and off the ice and how he pushed

guys to be better. We put them all in different challenging situations and he stepped up in a

leadership role.”

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

During the scrimmage, recent draftee Drake Batherson was one of the best players on the ice.

Here’s a highlight package of his performance.

{souce}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Drake

Batherson was a surprise standout at the tight-checking, 45min <a

href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SensDevCamp?src=hash">#SensDevCamp</a> scrimmage.

Check out his highlight pack ⭐ <a

href="https://t.co/jOo1ruCg10">pic.twitter.com/jOo1ruCg10</a></p>&mdash; Sens Prospects

(@SensProspects) <a

href="https://twitter.com/SensProspects/status/882990893216804868">July 6,

2017</a></blockquote>

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

If you want to watch the whole scrimmage you can check it out here .

On Filip Chlapik, again from AGM Lee “…he's one of the best stories of a turnaround from any

player in Development Camp in the last 10 years. I give the kid credit and you saw him out here

this week. He's like a new man. He's taken complete ownership of his game and has turned it all

around.” It’s not surprising to hear this given Chlapik’s play over the past calendar year that has

seen him rocket up the prospect depth chart.

Christian Wolanin looked excellent in the 3-on-3 tournament. An offensive defender, he’s got

two more years of NCAA eligibility left. But if he can improve upon his solid sophomore season I

wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to sign him at the end of the 2017-18 season. For me him he’s

the real sleeper of the defense group.

Expansion Draft and Free Agency

Ottawa took a big hit on the back end when they lost Marc Methot to the Vegas Golden Knight

in the expansion draft. But they were in no rush to replace him in free agency and will look

internally at some combination of Thomas Chabot, Ben Harpur and Frederik Claesson. In terms

of free agents the biggest news was locking up perennial playoff hero and RFA Jean-Gabriel

Pageau to a three-year deal worth $9.3 million. Other than that it was merely AHL depth

signings and the 2017-18 roster is shaping up to be nearly identical to the one that came within

a game of playing for the Stanley Cup.