We kick of this year’s round of predictions with a simple one: who will score more points, Jean-Gabriel Pageau or Derick Brassard? Brassard won last year 39 to 33 in the regular season, and 11 to 10 in the playoffs. There is a possibility that Pageau has closed the gap in terms of offensive assignments, and with Brassard missing time to start this year, it’s possible this will be a close fight between the centres.
(Editor’s Note: Today also sees the debut of Spencer Blake as our new Belleville Senators writer. Make sure to give him a warm welcome in the comments!)
Colin: Derick Brassard. He'll be played higher in the lineup and alongside better players, plus he scored more points than Pageau in the regular season and playoffs last season. Brassard will score 45 points, Pageau will score 40.
Callum: Derick Brassard. As much as Pageau's playoff performance was remarkable and proved he was a legitimate goal-scoring threat, he's just simply not going to be put in the best offensive positions like Brassard. Brassard: 51, Pageau: 34.
Trevor: Brassard. He's the better player, and the only way Pageau gets more is if Brassard misses more time than he should due to injury. I like Pageau as a player, but he's more of a 35-point player and a third-line centre. Brassard: 45, Pageau: 36
Spencer: Brassard may miss some time but I still think he edges out Pageau in points based on projected TOI and special teams responsibilities (Brassard being more likely to beat Pageau in PP time). Brassard gets 48, Pageau finishes with 39.
Ross: Last year, Brassard beat Pageau while the former got a lot of ice time with Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman, while the latter mostly played with Tom Pyatt. I think most would be surprised to be reminded that Brassard only won by six points. With Pageau’s performance in the playoffs, I think he’ll get more offensive linemates and will get some time on the powerplay. Because of that, I say Pageau wins this one barely. Pageau 41, Brassard 39.
Ary: Although he'll start off the year injured, I think Brassard will get the opportunities alongside skilled linemates and has the track record that Pageau doesn't have. Additionally, there's no way he can't read the tea leaves and see that if he doesn't have a big season, he's likely out of Ottawa soon. I'll say that Brassard ends with 48 points, while Pageau ends with 34.
Beata: Brassard, because he'll get more opportunities and better linemates. Pageau will do the best he can from the third line, and maybe have a few really amazing games, but ultimately Brassard will be the one putting up points consistently. I say Brassard gets 49 and Pageau gets 36.
NKB: The obvious answer here is Brassard, but that's assuming he's able to play close to as many games as Pageau. Injury luck is just that, but at some stage an accumulation of ailments can conspire to slow you down. Pageau's played 82 games the last two seasons. Brassard has not.
Who will score more points?
This poll is closed