With their second pick of Day 2 at the NHL Entry Draft, the Ottawa Senators turned to Todd Burgess of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs (NAHL). In his third and final year with the Ice Dogs, Burgess scored 95 points (38G, 57A) in 60 regular-season games, almost tripling his point total from the previous year and leading the league in points, goals and assists. He also helped his team capture the NAHL's Robertson Cup.
Burgess is somewhat of a late bloomer, at 20 years old and two years past his actual draft year. But with his significant increase in points during the previous year, it was hard for scouts to ignore him. He'll head to the NCAA next year to play with RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute).
Ranked 185th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, Burgess has been praised for his strong presence in front of the net, offensive awareness and ability to handle the puck. He has the vision to find players in the right spot, and the intelligence to find the perfect time to pass them the puck. His ability to handle difficult passes is also an area of strength, picking up challenging passes without breaking stride.
According to scouting reports, an area he needs to work on is his skating. While he was once thought to have quite the offensive jump, his speed didn't stand out near the end of the year. So he'll need to improve his skating to make it to the NHL level.
"Burgess is a 6'3", skilled centre who's a late developer." - #Sens amateur scout Bob Janecyk on fourth round pick Todd Burgess— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) June 25, 2016
It's not very common in the NAHL to see point totals like his last season. The last comparable player to reach numbers like this was Pat Maroon. It's thought that his age could be the reason behind this increase in points, but looking at the Ice Dogs' roster, there are a number of players born in 1996 as well.
It was a little surprising to see the Sens take a 20-year-old, but his numbers speak for themselves, and they saw something they liked. You can find Burgess on Twitter @burgess_todd.
Welcome to Ottawa, Todd!