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Top 25 Under 25, #15: Alex Chiasson

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Last season, Alex Chiasson appeared at No. 8 on the Top 25 Under 25.

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The only player that managed to fall further down our list than Jared Cowen is Alex Chiasson. It hasn't been the greatest year for the 24-year-old Montreal native.

But the drastic decline is only so because of how much was expected of Chiasson before he had even appeared in a Senators uniform. The analysis should have left a lot more room for error. Especially for such a young player who some had the notion he was supposed actually fill any kind of void left by Jason Spezza's departure. Big Huge shoes to fill.

There was also this idea that Chiasson was going to bring a scoring touch to the bottom six. But in his only full NHL season, he carted 13 goals. So maybe 11 in 2015 shouldn't be seen as a major drop off.

Yes, his output could have been better - it's no secret, he missed his fair share of empty nets - but looking past the disappointment of what everyone believed Chiasson could be right away for this team, it wasn't that bad. Pretty decent, actually.

With David Legwand and Erik Condra gone, there are two spots in the bottom six that remain from last season's regular lineup. Chiasson will be battling with a few other players (possibly Zack Smith, Chris Neil, Shane Prince and Matt Puempel) to keep out of the press box and stay on the ice, but I'd easily give him the upper hand to stay relevant in the 2015-16 season.

Just like last year, Chiasson will become a restricted free agent at season's end. At $1.2 million, Chiasson is extremely affordable for a budget team like the Senators, and if he can be a 15-20 goal scorer by April, he's basically a steal with that contract.

The bar will be a heck of a lot lower for Chiasson next season, and maybe that will lower a bit of weight of his shoulders. It's only fair. And that could be just what he needs.