Last week for the Bites, I took a look at the players that tended the net - the article can be found here. This week, it's the ones up the middle (or maybe down the middle?) as my focus is now at center position. To clear the air, there are so many variables, as it's difficult to project a solid line up and who will be in Binghamton at the end of training camp.
So, without seeing some chemistry from the new arrivals and where they will eventually fit in, I'm going with what the players may bring instead. Besides, it's smack in the middle of summer and hockey is far off the list of things to do lately, as my NY Mets are winning and running a pennant race out of the East Division.
Let it be known, there is zero tracking of any face-off stats in the AHL. So, we then rely on player's performance solely through opinions which will undoubtedly fluctuate. I can say this: what Binghamton will miss is the fluid line of Carter Camper in winning faceoffs and dishing off creating offensive threats for Shane Prince and Cole Schneider, as they were the only options to choose from at the end of last season.
However, these next four are guaranteed in the line-up, as out are Camper, Derek Grant and Brad Mills from last season.
- Ready To Go
A free agent pick up after spending the last four seasons with the Winnipeg Jets organization and playing for the St. John's IceCaps. O'Dell can lead the rush and spark an offense as he replaces Derek Grant, although doesn't possess Grant's PK abilities. The 25-year-old from Ottawa has played for 41 games for the Jets over the last two seasons, and signed a new one-year, two-way contract in July.
Should be on the top line out of the gate at center, as other prospects get their feet wet. I'm excited to see him perform for Binghamton.
Will be entering his second of a three year entry level contract signed back in Dec. 2014. Paul is a high-end talent that came over as part of the Jason Spezza deal. He posted 66 points (37 goals, 29 assists) in 58 games for the North Bay Battalion of the OHL. A big guy at 6' 4" 225 lb., he'll give the 6' 5" Buddy Robinson some competition come this fall for Binghamton.
Ottawa Senators Bryan Murray gave high praise for the 20 year old towards the end of the Senators' development camp, saying he could see some action for the big club sometime perhaps in the second half of next season, depending on his transition at the pro level.
Dzingel will be entering his second season in Binghamton, displaying his talented agility and an undeniable nose for the net. He should continue to improve, making the transition, and coming off his rookie campaign featuring his combination of quick feet and hands.
Had sat out some games as a healthy scratch but bounced back and learned from his rookie mistakes. Should produce some solid numbers while growing in confidence.
Like Dzingel, this will be McCormick's second pro season for the B-Sens as he started out playing on the left side of Dzingel on the third line. Then McCormick was converted to center position after missing five games for a shoulder injury, and has proven himself to be an excellent addition on the fourth line as a grinder, who can play a defensive role and with a willingness to go to the hard areas. Max then went on and buried 10 goals and 10 assists in 62 games along with 133 PIMs, tops in the AHL for rookies.
- On The Bubble
Fifth round pick in 2013, Dunn had his moments last season for the Rimouski Oceanic both on the ice as well as off it. He'll look to put it all behind him in moving forward. The feisty soon to be 20 year old had 19 goals with 13 helpers in 46 games as he finished up his fourth year in the QMJHL, in which he played for three different clubs.
It's not certain he'll make Binghamton out of the chute as he could see some playing time for the Evansville IceMen of the ECHL, but he's a competitor and will be given an opportunity.
- Players Down The Pike
Ottawa's sixth round pick back in 2013, the 21 year old native of Denver, CO will be playing his senior year for the University of Denver and should see some action for the B-Sens late next year. He scored 10 goals and added 16 assists in 39 games for the Denver Pioneers
Scouting report on the 6' 1" 200lb. out of West Newbury, MA shows some promise as he enters his second season playing for the University of New Hampshire;
Power-forward with good mobility and a solid set of hands in the offensive end. An absolute bull when it comes to forechecking and can let loose a rocket shot. All-in-all, the type of player who you don't want to be playing against because he will run you over on the scoreboard - and into the boards. (Curtis Joe, EP 2014)
Eiserman went in round four (#100 overall) of the 2014 draft chosen by Ottawa.
Baillargeon was Ottawa's fifth round pick in the 2012 draft and has played the last two seasons for Boston University. Hockey Future had this following analysis;
Baillargeon is an agitating forward with decent size and some offensive ability. He plays with a fair amount of energy and is not shy about getting in the face of the opposition. Baillargeon handles the puck well and has an effective shot, but his strength on offense lies mostly in his playmaking ability. His defensive play is adequate, but could use some improvement if his ultimate role is more as a two-way forward.
That rounds up things up for the Senators. Meanwhile, my Mets are trending and remain in first place.
*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of Alicia Strauch.