Welcome to our annual 31-in-31 Summer Series here at DobberProspects! Every day in July we will be bringing you a complete breakdown of a team’s draft, notes from their development camp, and insights into their off-season moves so far. Following this up, the August 31-in-31 Series will dive into every team’s prospect depth charts with fantasy insights and implications for the upcoming seasons. Check in often, because we plan on filling your hockey withdrawal needs all summer long!
To say Ottawa had a tumultuous 2018-19 campaign is an understatement. Since finishing one game shy of the 2017 Stanley Cup finals, things have gone severely downhill for the franchise leading to a gutting of their roster and a last place finish in the league a year ago. As they enter a rebuild it will be imperative that Ottawa use the assets they have acquired by stripping their roster properly through the draft, to get them back to the level of prominence that the team reached just a few seasons ago.
2019 Draft Selections
1st round, 19th overall: Lassi Thomson, D – Kelowna (WHL)
After recouping a 2019 first rounder when they sent Matt Duchene to Columbus, Ottawa was able to nab Finnish blueliner Thomson with the 19th selection. The Kelowna defenseman is an upside selection who on the surface may have been a bit of a consensus reach with a top 20 pick, but he does have offensive talent to burn. Likely slotting in as a top four option with first power play upside, Thomson is a player who will certainly see his name come off the draft board in fantasy drafts earlier then he was expected to be selected in the NHL. With the puck, Thomson has the ability to transition the puck seamlessly, whether it be by skating out of trouble, or by starting the breakout with a solid first pass. On the power play, his elite ability lies in his ability to not only shoot the puck, but get it through would be defenders and on net for scoring opportunities and rebounds. He has a deadly one timer, and has an internal green light to shoot the puck often.
Defensively, Thomson is still improving. He is not a player who can jump right in to an NHL lineup, and will need some more time to gain weight and develop on the defensive side of the puck. However his willingness to play the body and effort level is evident. Thomson signed his three-year entry level contract with Ottawa this week, and has been rumored to be returning to Finland to play the 2019-20 season.
2nd round, 32nd overall: Shane Pinto, C – Tri-City (USHL)
With the first pick of the second round, Ottawa again went to the well for a player with untapped offensive upside when they drafted Pinto from the USHL. A North Dakota commit and native of Long Island, Pinto is an above average performer in many offensive areas. At 6-3 and nearly 190 pounds, the pivot is able to get anywhere he needs to in the offensive zone, however he prefers to be a below the circle’s staple. He has the ability to play a possession game, setting up his teammates for scoring chances, or passing and then re-establishing himself in high danger areas. His skating is adequate, with the ability to make plays off the rush.
Going the college route with North Dakota will allow Pinto to continue to develop in a structured system and should present Ottawa with a more rounded prospect once he is ready to turn professional.
2nd Round, 37th overall: Mads Sogaard, G – Medicine Hat (WHL)
After pairing their 44th overall pick with their third rounder (83th overall) in a deal with Carolina, Ottawa moved up to add another goaltender to a fairly stacked prospect position within the organization. Hailing from Denmark, Sogaard was the second ranked North American goaltender by NHL Central Scouting, and was the third goaltender drafted overall behind Spencer Knight (FLA) and Pyotr Kochetkov (CAR). The 6’7” monster had a terrific season with Medicine Hat, sporting a 2.64 goals against average and a .921 save percentage, numbers which were good enough to make him a WHL second team all-star.
4th round, 94th overall: Viktor Lodin, C – Orebro (SHL)
Drafted with an early fourth round selection, Lodin is an overage prospect featuring for Onebro in the Swedish League. The forward split time between the SHL and Onebro’s under 20 team, finding the scoresheet five times in his 41 SHL games with one goal and four assists. Lodin will continue to gain more responsibility within the organization in 2019-20 and with it will come a bigger indicator as to just how much upside the young Swede has.
5th round, 125th overall: Mark Kastelic, C – Calgary (WHL)
Sticking with a couple themes from the Senators draft, Ottawa selected overage and WHL product Mark Kastelic in the fifth round. The center was Calgary’s captain a year ago coming off a breakout campaign where he posted 47 goals and 77 points in 66 games.
7th round, 187th overall: Maxence Guenette, D – Val-d’Or (QMJHL)
With the team’s last pick of the draft, Ottawa took the smooth skating Maxence Guenette from the QMJHL. The blueliner was among one of the younger players in the draft and flashed some offense this season with Val-d’Or, posting 32 points in 68 games. He will continue to ply his trade with the Foreurs this season with an increased role.
Ottawa held their prospect camp earlier this month. You can check out the drafted prospects in the Senators system and their prospect camp roster invites here.
Ottawa kicked off the summer by extending goaltenders Anders Nilsson and Marcus Hogberg to two year deals. They also resigned journeyman forward Anthony Duclair to a one year extension. Nilsson will continue to share the net with Craig Anderson, and Hogberg is next in line as the teams most viable goaltending prospect to make the NHL jump.
The biggest, and by far most divisive move of the offseason for the Senators was trading Cody Ceci, Ben Harpur, Aaron Luchuk and a third rounder to the Maple Leafs for Nikita Zaitsev, Connor Brown and Michael Carcone. You can see the breakdown of that trade for fantasy purposes, here. https://dobberhockey.com/hockey-home/fantasy-take-latest-nhl-moves/fantasy-take-leafs-senators-swap-zaitsev-ceci/
This week, the Senators traded Zack Smith to Chicago for Artem Anisimov in a money saving deal (surprise) due to the centers front loaded contract. Anisimov is likely a slight upgrade for the Sens.
Ottawa’s “biggest” free agent signing in the new league year was Ron Hainsey, who will provide veteran leadership to the Sens defensive group over the next year. His prime playing days are behind him however.
In addition to Hainsey, Ottawa did resign a couple of their home grown prospects in Christian Wolanin and Nick Paul to contracts.
Feel free to give Kevin a follow at @kleblanchockey for prospect talk and happenings.
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