No. 8: Ryan Dzingel (Reader rank: 9, Last year: 19)
The 2015-16 season was the first time most Sens fans got a good look at Ryan Dzingel. He played a total of 30 games with the Ottawa Senators, recording 9 points (3G, 6A). While these numbers don't make it easy to determine what kind of player Dzingel could turn into, his previous stats paint a much better picture.
When he wasn't in Ottawa last season, Dzingel spent the rest of his time in the AHL. In 44 games with Binghamton, Dzingel scored 36 points (12G, 24A). His numbers during the previous season in the AHL (2014-15) were pretty consistent; 34 points (17G, 17A) in 66 games. Although he played 20 more games that season, it's clear that he was able to generate decent numbers on a not-so-decent Binghamton Senators team, two years in a row.
Dzingel was drafted by Ottawa in the 7th round (204th overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. This also happens to be the "rebuild" draft, from which Ottawa has now traded a number of high-profile players (Mika Zibanejad, Shane Prince and Stefan Noesen).
He has been praised by scouts for his speed, skill and vision, which we saw a glimpse of during his time with Ottawa last year. Dzingel was usually pretty noticeable on the ice, no matter who he was playing with. And one of the things that really stood out about him was his speed. He's able to keep up with some of the fastest in the NHL, and that's something that Ottawa needs to use wisely.
Many scouting reports also highlighted his ability to improve at every level of hockey he's moved into, and there is little doubt he'll be able to do that in the NHL. For example, in his final season with Ohio State University (NCAA), Dzingel scored 46 points (22G, 24A) in 37 games.
At 6'0" and 190 lbs, many have thought that Dzingel could stand to put on some size. But the 24-year-old is likely as developed as he's going to get. It's said that he could turn into a serviceable third-line winger in the NHL. If the speed we saw from him last season is any indication, he could easily make a case for that this coming season.
It's safe to say we're going to see more of Dzingel this season, and only time will tell if he can make it onto the top-six, or if he will remain a third- or fourth-line player going forward.