The grades are in for the 4th quarter of the 2016-’17 campaign in this, the final season for the Binghamton Senators.
The BSens started the third quarter (3rd Quarter Grades) one point out of a playoff spot, but then lost six in a row and seven of ten to fall 11 points behind and that trend continued right into the fourth quarter as the team found themselves on the a losing side going 5-13-0-1 and an overall 28-44-2-2 record, second worse in the AHL behind Hartford.
Here we are in player elevations for the last time and it wasn’t a pleasant report to say the least. Also included was team awards that were handed out on Saturday.
With each quarter results are my grade number posted first, followed by a second number that represents The Panel’s vote. Their vote was then divided amongst the seven member’s** (excluding my own grade) and then applied to a letter format that is broken down by the following;
(Season statistics is also shown collectively for each player for an ongoing comparison. Individual votes are also shown from each of the last three quarters in player’s reviews)
#3 Brandon Gormley
4th, 80/ 81.42 B-
(17 gms, 2g 3a) Acquired in a late season trade that involved the NJ Devils for future considerations, the former first round draft pick wasn’t anything special or spectacular to back up his scouting report, as it looked like New Jersey just wanted to unload him for whatever reasons.
#5 Charles-David Beaudoin
#6 *Andreas Englund - Rookie Of The Year Award
1st 83 / 85 B, 2nd 88 / 88.16 B+, 3rd 88 / 89.85 B+, 4th 87 / 86.85 B-
(69gms, 3g 7a) Englund has continued to impress over the final quarter of the BSens season. As a rookie, he's shown great composure in his play and stays cool under pressure. Even with his size, he's able to move his feet and get to where he needs to be with little error. Englund has shown great potential in his rookie year and will only continue to improve with time. ~ Emily Rose (92 / 90)
#7 Chris Carlisle
1st 80 / 77.16 C+, 2nd 84 / 82.67 B-, 3rd 81 / 78.85 C+, 4th 79 / 74.57 C
(74gms, 3g 13a) Where do I begin. I've been really tough on him. But I'm hard on anyone I see potential in. He skates well, he is fast. He has heart. He uses his size to his advantage. He has stepped up this last quarter and shown a lot of improvement. He will benefit from more time in the AHL, but if he continues showing this type of growth, I could see him getting a call up sometime next season. I've enjoyed watching his development and wish him the best. ~ Erin Lynn (75 / 75)
#11 * Macoy Erkamps
4th, 76 / 73.40
(11gms, 0g 2a) Was brought up midway through the fourth quarter and wasn’t anything special or worth noting.
#15 Chris Rumble
1st 70 / 71.66 C-, 2nd 82 / 84.5 B, 3rd 85 / 86 B, 4th 76 / 79.28 C+
(56gms, 6g 21a) Was out a bit on the IR but had recently returned with limited results, similar to the rest of the defensive squad.
#23 Patrick Sieloff
1st 72 / 79.83 C+, 2nd 78 / 82.16 B-, 3rd 79 / 79.57 C+, 4th 70 / 70 C-
(52gms, 2g 10a) Has been sidelined with a wrist injury in his attempt to fight in what has been a disappointing season from the second year pro including the fourth quarter.
#24 Ben Harpur - Extra Effort Award, Top Defenseman, MVP Award
1st 68 / 65.16 D, 2nd 69 / 74.5 C, 3rd 76 / 82.85 B-, 4th 80 / 82.28 B-
(63gms, 2g 25a) Any dedicated B-Sens fan can tell you that Big Ben's development has been borderline painful to watch as he's a tall guy with no use for it. Just an unfocused blueliner. Inexplicably, one game in the majors halfway through the season finally lit the long-doused fire underneath him and he has become a shadow of his former self, for the better. But between his new tendency to toss off the gloves and better eye for playmaking lately that has racked up a TON of points over the last quarter, it's a sharper Harpur. ~ Crazy Joe (78 / 84)
#28 Guillaume Lepine
1st 79 / 73.66 C, 2nd 82 / 79.66 C+, 3rd 78 / 74,57 C, 4th 78 / 78.28 C+
(54gms, 1g 2a) Lepine is always consistent, that's his real strength. He can be counted on to do his job, including defending teammates by dropping the gloves. As fighting becomes less and less a part of the game, his role will diminish in that aspect. Despite that, he is an acceptable, average AHL defenseman who knows how to use his size to his advantage. ~ Alicia Strauch (75 / 81)
#8 Kyle Flanagan
1st 83 / 85.42 B, 2nd 86 / 86.14 B, 3rd 86 / 85.57 B, 4th 80 / 79.85 C+
(68gms, 9g 20a) Kyle's stats have dropped the last quarter, likely due to his diminished role. Playing 3rd and 4th line minutes with very limited special team time will do that to you. However his tenacity and hands are just great to watch. 9 goals and 19 assists in 65 games is good for an AHL-only contract player. ~ Keith Hopkins (88 / 80)
#9 *Alex Krushelnyski
1st 72 / 72.4 C-, 2nd 79 / 75.14 C, 3rd 74 / 76.42 C
#10 *Colin White
4th 83/ 84 B
(3gms, 1g 2a) Even though it was a small sample size with White’s three games, I thought it should be included in his evaluation for a top prospect in the organization. In his limited time he was in his transition from college to the pros.
#12 *Jack Rodewald - 7th Player Award
1st 80 / 80 B-, 2nd 92 / 93.28 A, 3rd 83 / 86.28 B, 4th 76 / 74.14 C
(66gms, 18g 9a) Jack went from zero to hero to zero again. He caught my attention very quickly but lost is just as soon. With the multitude of line shifts, injuries and call-ups, Jack lost his stride and his chemistry. What was once one of the most entertaining players to watch this season just became another face in the crowd. It's heartbreaking to say this, but if you had just started attending this quarter, you'd never believe he played well enough to EARN an SPC this season. ~ Crazy Joe (86 / 77)
#13 Nick Paul
1st 83 / 75 C, 2nd 84 / 84.14 B, 3rd 81 / 84.57 B, 4th 78 / 78.42 C+
(72gms, 15g 22a) As I previously noted in the Q3 player reviews, look for Nick Paul to make a statement down the stretch for the B-Sens. He did just that as he is finishing up his season strong with 11 points in his last 17 games played. Highlighted by a 1 goal and 3 assists effort in Toronto on March 18th. Paul is closing in on 3rd on the B-Sens in scoring at 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists). Ottawa has something special in Paul, if he can put in a great off-season workout, watch for him to enter training camp hungry to steal a spot on Ottawa’s fourth line. ~ Buckles_27 (83 / 73)
#14 Mike Blunden
1st 84 / 85 B, 2nd 79 / 77 C+, 3rd 88 / 89.42 B+, 4th 75 / 81.28 B-
(67gms, 14g 15a) His best offensive output of the season was in the last quarter, but not in the fourth as the Captain faltered just like the rest of the team did with a miserable season.
#16 Chad Nehring
1st 73 / 77.4 C+, 2nd 76 / 74 C, 3rd 70 / 69.42 D+, 4th 68 / 70.14 C-
(50gms, 5g 13a) I can't tell if he was just snake-bit all year or is really just average. A year since he lead an AHL team in scoring, Chad has just been very very mediocre this year. He sits at 5 goals and 13 assists in 47 games (3 remaining). He is barely noticeable on the ice. ~ Keith Hopkins (65 / 70)
#17 Max McCormick - Top Defensive Forward Award
1st 84 / 83 B, 2nd 84 / 85.57 B, 3rd 90 / 91.71 A-, 4th 81 / 87 B+
(66gms, 21g 15a) It's been a rough season, but Max McCormick has been the saving grace it in for me. I've said it before, I'll say it again, he is fun to watch. Wrapping the season up, in comparison to teammates, he is an average point producer, but he leads the team in goals, which isn't anything to shake a stick at. Not a fan of +/- as his contributions to this team are duly noted. He has hustle, he grinds, he has spice. He is still unpredictable, but that's the beauty of Mad Max. He is probably my favorite this season and I will miss him in Binghamton. ~ Erin Lynn (92 / 88)
#18 *Gabriel Gagne
1st Inc., 2nd 70 / 69.57 D+, 3rd 68 / 67.71 D, 4th 60 / 66 D
(41gms, 2g 4a) Belongs at the ECHL level despite him scoring his first professional goal in the fourth quarter. Just really raw and looked lost with very limited talent although there were claims that he’s got great potential from those that remained unnamed from the parent club. Hogwash.
#19 Jason Akeson
1st Inc., 2nd 92 / 88.71 B+, 3rd 94 / 93.42 A, 4th 84 / 88.42 B+
(57gms, 20g 31a) Coming off of a strong third quarter, Akeson continued to lead by example down the final stretch. He has shown his versatility by producing with a variety of linemates, most notably Phil Varone. Able to move swiftly around anyone in his way, Akeson brings a great level of skill to this squad that is only inhibited by a few careless errors. In a quarter where there was little celebration amongst BSens’ fans, Akes provided certain entertainment on the ice. ~ Emily Rose (93 / 87)
#20 Ryan Rupert
Inc., 3rd 72 / 68.66 D+, 4th Inc.
Spent the majority of his days in Wichita playing for the Thunder in the final quarter.
#22 Phil Varone - Stars Of The Year Award
1st 88 / 86.16 B, 2nd 90 / 91 A-, 3rd 90 / 90.42 A-, 4th 83 / 82.35 B-
(65gms, 15g 36a) Most talented player defined by inconsistent effort. Completely disappears some nights and shows up in a big way others. Still, after all is said and done, barring two huge final games from Akeson, Bailey or McCormick, Varone will lead the team in scoring for the season. If I know he'll give his all, would love to have the UFA back next year as part of the Binghamton Devils. ~ MVK (88 / 75)
#25 Casey Bailey - Fan Favorite Award
1st 86 / 86.66 B, 2nd 93 / 93.71 A, 3rd 86 / 89 B+, 4th 84 / 85.85 B
(62gms, 21g 16a) Pretty quiet quarter from the talented forward as he suffered a late injury but bounced back with a goal in the last game of the season.
#26 Marc Hagel
3rd Inc., 4th 67 / 66.14 D
(53 gms, 2g 8a) Recently has been in and out of the line up as a healthy scratch. Just a body filling in with very little talent and limited skill level.
#27 *Francis Perron
1st 82 / 78.66 C+, 2nd 83 / 83 B, 3rd 83 / 84.85 B, 4th 78 / 78.28 C+
(68gms, 6g 20a) Perron has bounced around lines a bit this final quarter with call ups and injuries. His great shot and passing continue to be his strengths. However, as mentioned last quarter, Perron needs to put more weight on to avoid being moved off the puck or learn how to create more space if he wants to be effective. His next season in the AHL will be critical - either he can step up and secure a role on the Top 2 lines and give Ottawa a reason to give him a call up or two or he may find himself stuck in the AHL. ~ Alicia Strauch (85 / 79)
#43 Chris LeBlanc
#1 Marcus Hogberg
#29 Matt O'Connor - Man Of The Year Award
1st 80 / 77 C+, 2nd 72 / 73.5 C, 3rd 81 / 79.33 C+, 4th 77 / 77.80 C+
(14-18-2-0, 3.23 GAA, 0.895 SV%) He has been exactly what his grades have shown all season long. C for average with the fourth quarter no exception. Has shown signs of being really good, to really bad. Inconsistency is a word that would sum it up best from the second year pro.
#30 Andrew Hammond
3rd Inc., 4th Inc.
(2-3-0-0, 3.24 GAA, 0.884 SV%) Out with season-ending hip surgery. Looked really bad in his last outing in Toronto before suffering his injury in the third quarter as he still remained listed on Binghamton’s roster.
#33 Chris Driedger
1st 92 / 88 B+, 2nd 94 / 89.16 B+, 3rd 85 / 83.16 B, 4th 80 / 79 C+
(12-19-2-1, 3.22 GAA, 0.900 SV%) Really hit a skid in the 4th quarter and never seemed to recover (until a 44 save SO victory of RCH). Inexplicably "stuck" behind O’C on the depth chart and never seems to catch a break from Ottawa. Outside of a few rumblings that he's difficult to coach, seems to be level headed and willing to put in the work. I still consider him to be Ottawa's top goaltending prospect and it would be wise for them to keep him. ~ MVK (88 / 75)
Kurt Kleinendorst & Steve Stirling
1st 81 / 80.33 B-, 2nd 87 / 84 B, 3rd 85 / 79.16 C+, 4th 72 / 72.80 C-
All in all Kurt and Steve had a disappointing year. Stirling is as likable a guy as there is, but his special teams have consistently, year in and year out, been in the bottom half of the league. Probably should not be back. Kurt appeared to lose the locker room early on and never got it back. Is it because of his policies or just the wrong mix of players? Who knows. I still believe he can be a successful head coach at the AHL level, but probably needs to be in a different situation. ~ MVK (83 / 82)
This season went by so fast but in the end it had similar results with the club missing the playoffs once again. This quarter fell in line with the third as the losing piled up with little depth and talent on the horizon that looks to follow into next season.
Binghamton was ranked 26th on the PP (15%) and 27th on the PK (79%) for the special teams units, 27th goals for (2.50) and 29th goals against (3.50), while the team was 21st shots for (28.97) and 25th shots against (31.42). Ugly, ugly and more ugly.
I’ll have my farewell piece coming up once Ottawa’s post season run comes to an end.
* = Rookie
Inc = Incomplete