2015-16 Ottawa Senators Top 10 Prospects

2015-16 Ottawa Senators Top 10 Prospects

2016-17 Top 10 Ottawa Senators Prospects

A look at the Ottawa Senators top 10 prospects heading into the 2015-16 season.

The Senators have one of the weakest prospect lists in the NHL. Not because they are poor at drafting and developing, rather they simply have a number of players on the NHL roster who have recently graduated. Mika Zibanejad, Mark Stone, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Curtis Lazar and Cody Ceci are all players you won’t find on this list because they are all on the Senators roster. But after a solid 2015 draft they are well on their way to restocking the cupboard.

1. Nick Paul: Centre – 6’2” /202 lbs
Drafted: 101st overall in the fourth round of the 2013 draft by the Dallas Stars
Acquired: Trade with Dallas in 2014

Paul was one of the key players in the trade that sent Jason Spezza to Dallas. Paul has been developing a solid two-way game under Stan Butler in the OHL and has seen his game improve year after year. Last year he eclipsed the point per game pace, scoring 66 points in 58 games and was named to Team Canada winning Gold at the WJC. With his junior career behind him, Paul will make his pro debut with Binghamton where he will continue to develop. Paul has good size, two-way ability, skill and skating ability. Most of his goals will come from within a few feet of the blue paint.

Scouting Report:

A power winger, Paul has a long and powerful skating stride.  While his speed is just average, it is the power and balance that will be his biggest assets as he goes forward.  Paul can fight through checks, and protects the puck extremely well down low, due to his size and skating ability. He wins battles along the boards, and is difficult to move from the front of the net, due to that strength and balance.  His agility and edgework are also decent. – Last Word on Sports

2. Thomas Chabot: Defence – 6’2” / 180 lbs
Drafted: 18th overall in the first round of the 2015 draft by the Ottawa Senators.

Chabot had a monster season in the QMJHL with a 41 point season in 66 games. He is an elite skater who loves to join the rush, has great offensive instincts, and is reliable defensively as well. He will get his first taste of NHL hockey in training camp before ultimately going back to junior and will have a great chance to represent Team Canada at the WJC.

Scouting Report:

A strong passer who delivers pucks with good timing and accuracy…has the ability to read the play and pick-and-choose his spots…has a powerful stride that generates power but could improve the overall quickness in his feet…willing to join the offensive attack…handles the puck well…not a big point shot but gets it on net consistently…reads the play well in his own zone and defensively he has the size and reach to close off lanes…good transition defender that moves the puck up ice. – Future Considerations

3. Matt Puempel: Left Wing – 6’1” / 205 lbs
Drafted: 24th overall in the first round of the 2011 draft by Ottawa

Puempel made his NHL debut last season playing in 13 games, scoring his first NHL goal on March 10th against the Boston Bruins. An injury ended his first look at the NHL, but he will be given a chance to crack the Sens top nine out of training camp. Puempel scored 30 goals in his first pro season in the AHL, but offensively he suffered the sophomore slump last year, despite the NHL call up.

Scouting Report:

Puempel is a pure sniper. He has a tremendous wrist shot and very quick and deceptive release. He also has a powerful and accurate one-timer. Puempel’s shooting ability is NHL ready, and is the envy of some players already playing in the league. He also has the quick and soft hands to bury pucks on rebounds and tip ins. In junior he showed flashes of great vision and passing ability, and the ability to add a playmaking option to his game, but he seems to have developed a bit of “shooting tunnel vision” in his first AHL season. He corrected that in 2014-15, picking up 20 sassists in 51 games. Puempel has a smooth skating stride which leads to him having great top end speed, and acceleration. He is extremely dangerous off the rush, with his ability to drive wide and to the net. Good puck protection, and solid stickhandling aid him in this area as well. Puempel also brings good balance, and is agile, and has strong edgework. – Last Word on Sports

4. Colin White:  Centre – 6’0” / 183 lbs
Drafted: 21st overall in the first round of the 2015 draft by Ottawa

White has committed to play for Boston college after plaing in the USHL for team USA last season, where he scored four goals and 13 assists in 20 games. A small sample size for sure, which is one of the knocks on college hockey – the low number of games played. Still, the Sens are high on White, whose two-way play has drawn comparisons to Bostons Patrice Bergeron. He likely has a lower offensive ceiling than Bergeron.

Scouting Report:

White (6-foot, 183) has a defensive game not commonly found in players so young. The 18-year-old can win board battles and knows about body positioning and playing angles. He also knows how to use his stick to make himself more of a defensive presence.

He also has offense skills, particularly vision and stickhandling. But it’s the two-way combination that makes White an interesting prospect. Senators U.S. college scout Lewis Mongelluzzo said White could be a Selke Trophy contender. – NHL.com

5. Shane Prince: Left Wing – 5’11” / 190 lbs
Drafted: 61st overall in the second round of the 2011 draft by Ottawa

Prince had his best season in his third year as a pro, scoring 28 goals and 65 points. He made his NHL debut, playing in two games where he had his first NHL point (an assist). Prince will try to make the Sens but because he lacks ideal size and is not very physical, he really needs to be in the top six, that’s likely going to be in the AHL barring injuries. He would have to clear to waivers to be sent to the AHL.

Scouting Report:

Prince took a step forward in his third AHL season, finishing sixth in league scoring, and second among players 24 and under. The downside to his prospect stick is the feeling that, if he does not make it in a top six role, he lacks the strength and physicality to play a bottom six role. In a league that is moving farther and farther away from goonery, that mindset needs to be put to rest. – Hockey Prospectus

6.  Chris Wideman: Defence – 5’10” / 180 lbs
Drafted: 100th overall in the fourth round of the 2009 draft by Ottawa

After his breakout year of 51 points in his second AHL season two years ago, Wideman raised the bar with an outstanding season winning the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s top defenceman by virtue of 19 goals and 61 points in 75 games, with 116 penalty minutes and 229 shots. The Sens blueline has seven NHL players ahead of him on the roster, but with Chris Phillips out there is a chance he makes the team out of camp. He was called up last year for two games but did not dress. He will see some NHL action this year for sure as he needs to clear waivers to return to the AHL.

Scouting Report:

He was an all-star defenceman in the (AHL), he’s a skilled, smaller-type defenceman that brings offence and quickness. He’s a real compliment to getting the puck of their own end and helps the forwards a great deal in creating offence from the blueline, – Sens GM Bryan Murray, Ottawa Sun

7. Tobias Lindberg: Left Wing – 6’2” / 201 lbs
Drafted: 102nd overall in the fourth round of the 2013 draft by Ottawa

Lindberg had a breakout season after coming to North America to play for the Oshawa Generals in the OHL. Lindberg scored 32 goals and 78 points in 67 games during the regular season as he continued to improve all season long. By the playoffs he was one of the stacked Generals top forwards, collecting 14 points in 16 games. He led the team in scoring during their Memorial Cup Championship run with three goals and five points in four games. The Sens signed him to his ELC contract in the off-season and he will turn pro joining Binghamton. Watching Lindberg play reminds some of another late round steal of the Sens – Daniel Alfredsson.

Scouting Report:

Lindberg acclimated immediately to the North American game, playing a critical role for the Memorial Cup winning Oshawa Generals, finishing third in team scoring and demonstrating tantalizing offensive instincts. The question with him is whether his east-west style will translate to the pros. – Hockey Prospectus

8. Matt O’Connor: Goalie – 6’5” / 186 lbs
Acquired: Signed as a free agent in 2015

The Sens signed the highly coveted goalie from College after his stellar career with Boston University. O’Connor backstopped the Terriers to a Bean Pot Championship and to the NCAA finals, which ended on a sour note as he allowed bad goal which cost the game. That gaff was not enough to discourage a bidding war for the Toronto native who’s overall body of work is as impressive as his big body. He will need some time in the AHL developing and adjusting to the pro game, but the big netminder has big upside.

Scouting Report:

O’Connor has excellent size, and uses its extremely well.  He gets out of the crease and cuts down the angle, giving shooters very little to look at.  O’Connor has very good lateral movement and tracks the puck well, cutting down a lot of cross-ice plays in the zone.  He also has very quick legs, and a tight, efficient butterfly style.  He’s so big there is little room upstairs even when he goes down.  He could stand to work on his rebound control going forward to the pro ranks, but even then, he is more advanced than most college goalies. – Last Word on Sports

9. Mikael Wikstrand: Defence – 6’1” / 185 lbs
Drafted:  196th overall in the 2012 draft by Ottawa

The Sens have a tremendous track record identifying and developing players in the later rounds of the draft and Wilkstrand is another example. The puck-moving offensive defenceman had an underwhelming season statically on Frolunda, but he is expected to make the transition to North America and debut with Binghamton in the AHL, The Swede has drawn career comparisons to Dallas Stars John Klingberg.

Scouting Report:

Offensive guy who can skate and play an all-around game. Has a good chance to play on Swedish national team at (2013) world juniors. Solid kid who can move the puck and make plays. Plays with men and has no problem adjusting his game to the next level. Not a (physical) guy. He’s a positional guy who angles people.- Sens European Scout Vaclav Burda, NHL.com

10. Filip Chlapik: centre – 6’3” / 211 lbs
Drafted: 48th overall in the second round of the 2015 draft by Ottawa

Chlapik raised his stock in his draft year with a strong first season in North America, playing in the QMJHL for Charlottetown, scoring 75 points in 64 games. Surprisingly he was left off the Czech team for the WJC after being an Alternate Captain for the Czechs at the Ivan Hlinka earlier in the year. With another year of junior eligibility remaining, he will head back to the Q for further development.

Scouting Report:

Displays good hockey sense and game and all the attributes to continue his developmental climb. Has good touch and strong puck control. Has good playmaking skills and makes good decisions and patience when carrying. Plays song on his skates and has good speed and first step quickness to go around defenders on the rush and then to the net. It is difficult to separate him from the puck. Works hard in his defensive zone and come back for make his defenseman’s outlet pass easier. A good back-checker. He still needs to get better offensively and also develop more lateral agility. – Draftsite.com

Recent Roster Graduations:

Mike Hoffman, Curtis Lazar, J-G Pageau, Mark Stone, Mika Zibanejad, Mark Borowiecki, Cody Ceci, Jared Cowen, Patrick Wiercioch.

Players under 25 years old and with less than 25 career NHL games played qualify as a prospect for purpose of this list.

Written by Peter Harling, who can be found on twitter @pharling

Nick Paul

Thomas Chabot

Matt Puempel

Colin White

Shane Prince

Chris Wideman

Tobias Lindberg

Matt O’Connor

Mikael Wikstrand

Filip Chlapik