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Scouting 2016-’17 Binghamton Senators; Defense Preview

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Club counts on a few veterans to help out the rookies on the blueline, but will it be enough?

Binghamton, NY., D-Man Michael Kostka will hep lead the boys on the blueline once again for the 2016-’17 season - Photo by Alicia Strauch - S7S/BSens

Defense will be next in line in a four-part series representing the Binghamton Senators for the 2016-’17 season, as the Offensive Review was featured this past Monday. While assistant coach Steve Stirling returns in charge of the men on the blueline, he’ll have his hands full this season as the club looks rather raw with five players 21 years-old or younger.

But it’s good to have back the lone representative from last year’s All-Star Competition in veteran defenseman Michael Kostka, as he’s set to participate in his second round for the Senators’ organization starting once again in Binghamton.

A much needed help will be returnee Fredrik Claesson, as he recently cleared waivers. Guy Lepine is also a big addition with his intense ability to take on whomever in a fight to otherwise protect the club’s prospects.

However, the rest that will don the red, black and gold jerseys for the first time is a bit of concern that will hopefully work it’s way out.

Let’s get to it. Feel free to leave a commit if so desired.

#3 Fredrik Claesson


Age: 23 (Nov 24, 1992)

Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden

Hgt/Wgt: 6’0 198 lbs Pst: Left Defense

Acquired: Ottawa Senators – 5th round draft pick in 2011 (126th Overall)

Contract ‘16-’17 : $100,000/$700,000 - 1-year, 2-way

Last Season: Binghamton; 55 gms 3 goals 7 assists Ottawa; 16 gms 0 goals 2 assists

Notables:

  • Returns for his 5th season for the Senators Organization
  • Finally got the call last season for Ottawa, as he has reached his limit playing in Binghamton
  • Led the league on +/- ( +37) three seasons ago but faltered the next two (-6) & (-5)

Outlook: Had an offer deal in place waiting on the table from back home in Sweden playing once again for his old team Djurgårdens before accepting a new contract from Ottawa. Most likely it will be his last season though, as a make or break attempt to earn a spot on the big club as a permanent fixture, has sadly come up short.

#6 Andreas Englund*


Age: 20 (Jan 21, 1996)

Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden

Hgt/Wgt: 6’3 198 lbs Pst: Left Defense

Acquired: Ottawa Senators – 2nd round draft pick in 2014 (40th Overall)

Contract ‘16-’17 : $70,000/$742,500 - 1st of a 3-year ELC signed in April of 2016

Last Season: Djurgårdens IF; 42 gms 2 goals 4 assists

Notables:

  • Makes his pro debut on North American soil after spending time in Sweden. (Ironically played for the same team as Claesson did)
  • Stay at home type of D-Man with not a lot of flair offensively, but is willing to drop the gloves, as he did in a pre-season contest
  • Member of the 2013-’14 champs Djurgårdens and played in the WJC-20 in 4th place

Outlook: Claesson should be a steady, yet positive influence serving as a fellow countryman, while Englund adjusts to his new surroundings, on as well as off the ice. Plays a similar role as a shut down type in the lanes.

#7 Chris Carlisle


Age: 21 (Dec 16 1994)

Birthplace: Fort Lee, NJ, USA

Hgt/Wgt: 5’10 174 lbs Pst: Right D

Contract ‘16-’17 : (Undisclosed) Binghamton AHL/ECHL

Last Season: Binghamton; 65 gms 4 goals 8 assists Evansville; 2 gms 0 goals 2 assists

Notables:

  • Versatile off the bench that can play forward if shorthanded
  • Fluid skater with steady passes while effective in shutting down the lanes
  • Led his Oshawa Generals to a Memorial Cup with an assist in overtime in the 2014-’15 season

Outlook: Good signing, as Coach Kurt Kleinendorst again has his “Danny New” type role player back from 2011. (For those that don’t recall, New played a pivotal role during the Calder Cup run, as the two players play a similar type of game). Solid skater but size still hurts, although in this case as for his potential, Carlisle is better skilled.

#11 Macoy Erkamps*


Age: 21 (Feb 2, 1995)

Birthplace: Delta, BC, CAN

Hgt/Wgt: 6’0 198 lbs Pst: Right Defense

Acquired: Signed as a free agent in April, Undrafted

Contract ‘16-’17 : $60,000/$605,000 - 1st of a 3-year ELC

Last Season: Brandon Wheat Kings; 72 gms 13 goals 58 assists

Notables:

  • Served as Captain for the Kings
  • 71 points last season put him one point behind D partner Ivan Provorov for most in the WHL
  • Not afraid to drop the gloves, with 30 fights over the last five seasons. But that will not be his role here

Outlook: Another rookie defensemen as this makes the third player making his pro debut on the blueline. Has quarterbacked the power play and is quick in transition in leading to a breakout. Got a tongue lashing behind the bench from AC Stirling, in a previous pre-season contest during one of his last shifts in the third period.

#15 Chris Rumble*


Age: 26 (Apr 16 1990)

Birthplace: Chesapeake, VA, USA

Hgt/Wgt: 6’1 195 lbs Pst: Left D

Contract ‘16-’17 : (Undisclosed) Binghamton AHL/ECHL

Last Season: Evansville; 64 gms 11 goals 28 assists

Notables:

  • Son of Darren Rumble, an original member of the Senators in 1992-’93
  • Played for three seasons at Canisius College before turning pro in parts of 2014-’15
  • Named to the Atlantic Hockey All-Conference First Team for the Canisius Golden Griffins in 2013-’14

Outlook: With his first full season in the pros behind him, this will be a step up for the 26 year-old. If he doesn’t make the club, he’ll be first call-up from Wichita most likely.

#21 Michael Kostka


Age: 30 (Nov 28, 1985)

Birthplace: Etobicoke, ONT, CAN

Hgt/Wgt: 6’1 210 lbs Pst: Right Defense

Acquired: Free agent signed in the off-season, Undrafted

Contract ‘16-’17 : $325,000/$800,000 - 1-year, 2-way

Last Season: Binghamton; 50 gms 5 goals 24 assists Ottawa; 15 gms 0 goals 1 assist

Notables:

  • Lone player representing the BSens in last season’s All-Star game
  • Tied with the highest paid player (with Varone), but is the oldest (!)
  • Ended the season hurt while up in Ottawa earning himself big bucks

Outlook: Kostka returning is big as he brings that veteran status in what will be his ninth year in the pros. Will be a leader on as well as off the ice to help out the rookies. Began slow out of the gate but soon evolved as one of the more consistent D-man on the team. That’ll change as he had made the adjustments to the smaller rink size.

#23 Patrick Sieloff


Age: 22 (May 15, 1994)

Birthplace: Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Hgt/Wgt: 6’1 201 lbs Pst: Left Defense

Acquired: Ottawa trade with Calgary – 2nd round draft pick in 2012 (42nd Overall)

Contract ‘16-’17 : $70,000/$832,500 - Season 3 of ELC

Last Season: Stockton Heat; 52 gms 2 goals 9 assists Calgary; 1 gm 1 goal 0 assists

Notables:

  • Tough hitting defenseman that replaces Mark Fraser, but hopefully plays smarter
  • Offense is not his game, but hitting is along with the occasional dropping of the mitts
  • Mature beyond his years and looks to be teachable

Outlook: Had that hit on Clarke MacArthur during a pre-season game that knocked him out, while it brewed the ire of several teammates including Bobby Ryan, who took matters into his own hands in a brief scuffle that followed. He was then sent to the group destined for Binghamton and never saw another pre-season contest or practice for Ottawa. Tough call..

#24 Ben Harpur


Age: 21 (Jan 12, 1995)

Birthplace: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ONT, CAN

Hgt/Wgt: 6’6 212 lbs Pst: Left Defense

Acquired: Ottawa Senators – 4th round draft pick in 2013 (108th Overall)

Contract ‘16-’17 : $65,000/$655,000 - 2nd season in 3-year ELC

Last Season: Binghamton; 47 gms 2 goals 4 assists Ottawa; 5 gms 0 goals 1 assist Evansville; 4 gms 0 goals 2 assists

Notables:

  • Big boy, but is not a physical type of player
  • Needs time in his develop, and patience from up top
  • Decent shot, but slow in his decision making skills on the ice

Outlook: A player in transition in his first full season at the AHL level, as it will be a work in progress with the emphasis on positional play. A fresh, yet inspiration approach might pay off with the new coaching staff in place. Time will tell.

#28 Guillaume Lepine


Age: 29 (Mar 7, 1987)

Birthplace: Montreal, PQ, CAN

Hgt/Wgt: 6’4” 225 lbs Pst: Left Defense

Contract ‘16-’17 : $ or (Undisclosed)

Last Season: Binghamton; 69 gms 4 goals 9 assists

Notables:

  • Not afraid to drop the gloves as an experienced defenseman
  • Has size and strength to back-up the blueline, looks confident on the ice
  • A throwback style of defense in taking the body first, and answering questions later

Outlook: Lepine is the one guy you want on your roster, as he has emerged to be not only one of the team’s more reliable d-man, but a much needed enforcer. Instantly changes the dynamic of an otherwise young defense, with a flair of intimation is what he brings to the table.

* = Indicates rookie status

Next Up; A familiar face has returned behind the bench, as the Coaching Staff is front and center on Thursday.