The Ottawa Senators are a team in transition. Long-time GM Bryan Murray stepped down and has been replaced by Pierre Dorian. The Coaching carousel continues in Ottawa with Guy Boucher currently at the helm.
The teams AHL affiliate team will also be changing cities as they are coming to Canada to play in Belleville to start the 2017-18 season. Despite the organizational overhaul the teams prospects, which have been a strength, continues to offer several promising assets.
Top 10 Ottawa Senators Prospects
1. Thomas Chabot, Defence
2015-16: Saint John (QMJHL)
Drafted: 18th overall in the first round of the 2015 draft by Ottawa
Chabot nearly made the NHL to start the season, playing his first career NHL game for Ottawa before ultimately being returned for his final season of junior. He played a major role for Team Canada at the World Junior and was named Tournament Best defenceman and MVP. His play in the QMJHL has been dominant and he looks to be a blue chip prospect.
Chabot can impact the game at both ends of the ice. Defensively he is very consistent and reliable, making good reads and uses his size well. Offensively he can transition the puck to offence and run the power play. Look for Chabot to make his pro debut next season and quickly play his way up the depth chart to a top pairing defenceman in the NHL.
2. Logan Brown, Center
2015-16: Windsor (OHL)
Drafted: 11th overall in the first round of the 2016 draft by Ottawa
Ottawa looks to have found the future franchise center in Brown. The big center owns elite offensive vision and is a playmaking pass first type center. He has an imposing 6-6 frame but plays the game like San Jose Sharks Joe Thornton as he is not overly physical.
Injuries have limited his ice time this season. He was a late cut from the USA World Junior Team was a surprise and a disappointment. Brown is still over a point per game with Windsor this year and will have an opportunity to make a strong lasting impression at the Memorial Cup this spring to end the season. With a strong showing he could carry that momentum into training camp where he will push to make the Sens next year.
3. Colin White, Center/RW
2015-16: Boston College (NCAA)
Drafted: 21st overall in the first round of the 2015 draft by Ottawa
In his sophomore season at Boston College White continues to find offensive success. White was an important player on Team USA at the World Junior Championship, serving as an alternate captain and scoring seven goals and eight points in seven games.
He is an excellent skater, plays a two-way game and projects as an ideal second line center for the Senators in the future. White could sign his ELC after this season and make his NHL debut with the Sens, or in the AHL.
4. Marcus Hogberg, Goalie
2015-16: Linkoping (SHL)
Drafted: 78th overall in the third round of the 2013 draft by Ottawa
Hogberg is the Sens fastest rising prospect and goalie of the future. With the Craig Anderson situation and injuries to other goalies, the Sens have had a good look at their other goalie prospects in the system, and they seem to be trending in the opposite direction.
Hogberg is posting some very impressive stats in the SHL a Swedish men’s pro league with a GAA of 1.88 and a .932 save percentage, with a 16-12 record and four shutouts. Look for Hogberg to come to North America next year and spend some time adjusting to the North American game in Belleville.
5. Filip Chlapik, Center
2015-16: Charlottetown (QMJHL)
Drafted: 48th overall in the second round of the 2015 draft by Ottawa
Chlapik is having a breakout season in the Q. He has been at the top of the league in scoring this season and the Senators took notice and signed the Czech center to his ELC in December. Chlapik struggled last season in his post draft year as he saw a significant drop in goal production. He suited up for one preseason game with Ottawa and failed to score or impress.
Since being returned to junior for his third season he has been on fire featuring a 21 game point streak. Chlapik also has played well against elite competition for the Czech Republic at the World Junior posting three points in five games. Look for this fast rising prospect to put forth a stronger effort next training camp with the Sens and challenge for a NHL job.
6. Jonathan Dahlen, Center/LW
2015-16: Timra IK (Allvenskan)
Drafted: 42nd overall in the second round of the 2016 draft by Ottawa
Dahlen is an aggressive fore-checking forward and a natural goal scorer. His compete level is very high and he had a breakout performance at the World Juniors with Sweden, scoring five goals and six points in seven games.
Despite his tenacious play he seldom takes penalties and plays a solid two way game. He projects as a solid NHL player ideal for the third line with offensive upside. Dahlen was undrafted in the CHL import draft and may spend another season in Sweden before coming to North America.
7. Nick Paul, Center/LW
2015-16: Binghamton (AHL)
Drafted: 101st overall in the fourth round of the 2013 draft by Dallas
Acquired as the central piece in the Jason Spezza trade, Paul rocketed up the depth chart after the trade with his strong play in the OHL. He played his way onto the Canadian World Junior team in 2014-15 where he won the Gold Medal on home soil contributing three goals. In his first pro season he started in the AHL but played his way into the NHL and played in 24 games and scored two goals and five points in limited ice time.
He was projected to start the season in the NHL again but instead was returned to the AHL where he 23 points in 49 games. His offensive production is not as high as expected as he seems to be suffering a sophomore slump season. Paul may not have top six NHL potential but has NHL size and strength. He is strong on draws, plays a very good defensive game, drives the net hard and is excellent along the boards. Look for Paul to have another look in the NHL this season and push to make the NHL full time next season.
8. Francis Perron, Center/LW
2015-16: Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)
Drafted: 190th overall in the seventh round of the 2014 draft by Ottawa
After a breakout 108 point season in his final year of junior as the Huskies Captain, the undersized Perron is playing in his first pro season in the AHL where he is struggling with the adjustment. Perron has recorded six goals and ten points in 49 games with Binghamton.
9. Markus Nurmi, LW/RW
2015-16: TPS U20 (SM-Liiga)
Drafted: 163rd overall in the sixth round of the 2016 draft by Ottawa
The Sens may have found a gem with their 6th round pick as Nurmi is a tall, lanky winger that is developing quickly in the Liiga league in Finland. In his third junior season in Finland, he is leading his team in scoring with a point per game production rate and earned a call up to the men’s league where he played three games, but was held pointless. His strong play there has earned him a contract extension, so he will continue to develop in Finland until at least 2019-20.
10. Andreas Englund, Defence
2015-16: Djurgardens (SHL)
The big Swede is a throwback NHL defenceman in that he is a big, stay at home shut down defence first kind of guy. While the NHL is trending away from the lumberjack or goon type defenceman, Englund can skate and has god mobility. He also can handle the puck and is adequate at moving the puck out of the defensive zone.
Offence or puck skills are not his forte, but he brings a still much needed mix of smart defensive play and sandpaper to the back end. Englund is in his first season in North America making the adjustment in the AHL.