It’s been widely reported that the Ottawa Senators have split their training camp squad into two groups: an AHL group and an NHL group. With no official cuts coming, this means the divide is still up for debate, but for now Guy Boucher is showing who he’s been impressed with thus far in camp.
The players on one-way contracts are presumably all on the NHL squad (or Group A, as some are calling it). The big names not guaranteed an NHL spot who are still with Group A are Thomas Chabot, Logan Brown, Filip Chlapik, and Alex Formenton. The first three have golden opportunities to impress thanks to injuries. Chabot could get Erik Karlsson’s spot on defence, while Brown and Chlapik are fighting for spots opened up by Derick Brassard, Clarke MacArthur, and Colin White all being out to start the season. Brown will go back to the OHL, and can have a nine-game NHL stint without burning the first year of his ELC, so it’s possible the Sens just want to see what they have with him. Chlapik, though, was thought to be AHL-bound. His commitment to off-season training and his pre-season games thus far have convinced the Sens he may deserve a longer NHL look. Formenton is also notable, since he was a 2017 second-round pick. It’s not impossible for 2nd-rounders to make the NHL at age 18, but it’s pretty unlikely. Still, it’s a sign the team have been happy with him, and may think he’ll benefit from a bit more time training and playing with veterans.
Group B contains a lot of the players expected to be on the Belleville squad to start the year. Of note, Francis Perron, Andreas Englund, and Christian Jaros were all looking likely to be sent down. Drake Batherson has also been kept around (with Brennan suggesting he’s in Group A, though I’m more inclined to believe Syl St. Laurent’s assertion he’s in Group B), suggesting he’s impressed the Sens enough to get a long look before being sent back to the QMJHL. Again, with no official cuts it doesn’t mean Perron or Jaros can’t start in the NHL, it’s just looking less likely.
It looks like we’ll get a complete idea of who’s on which team on Friday morning: