Your weekly prospect update is here once again, this time featuring strong performances from the B-Sens in their two games against Toronto this past weekend. Their first was a thrilling 7-6 victory, followed by a less-than-stellar 8-2 loss.
And for those who have been following all season, it may come as a shock that Josh Norris is not a Biggest Standout this week, breaking his streak of three weeks. There were still many other prospects with excellent performances, so let’s jump right in!
(Click to expand)
It seems that every time we check in on Batherson, he always finds another gear. His developmental growth over the past two years is the fastest we’ve seen in the organization since Mark Stone, and it might just keep going. On Belleville’s nine total goals this week, Batherson registered a point on seven of them, with only two being secondary assists. His six point night against the Marlies was the AHL’s first since February 2016. He’s on a whole other planet right now.
Batherson with the steal + BEAUTY feed to Balcers!— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) November 10, 2018
3 point night for the The Drake pic.twitter.com/T1E7DTU4xt
He’s thankfully been rewarded for his stellar play, being named the AHL’s player of the week, and yesterday finally receiving the call-up to the NHL. Unless Guy Boucher has other plans, he’ll play his first NHL game this Thursday against the Red Wings. He currently leads the AHL rookie scoring race, although if he can translate his play to the NHL, he may have already seen his last action in Belleville.
Some may say Wolanin was riding Batherson’s coattails, and sure, four of his five points this week also involved Batherson getting on the scoresheet. Although the two players worked flawlessly together, and adding in Chlapik and Balcers, Belleville’s top unit was a thing of beauty. Take the following clip as an example, where Wolanin shows incredible poise and patience with the setup.
Better look at this play, which happened with a little under 2 minutes left in a 6-6 tie. Love Batherson freezing the defenders and Wolanin's patience + vision. pic.twitter.com/Qxv2bdCfUw— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) November 11, 2018
While his stint in Ottawa was short-lived (partially due to the Ottawa’s crowded blue line), he’s been making the most of his rookie pro season. He ranks third in scoring amongst AHL rookie defencemen, with eight points in eleven games. From Prospect-Stats.com, he’s estimated to be playing an average of 19:23 per game at 5v5, which is fourth highest amongst all AHL defenders. Coach Mann is trusting him, and Wolanin is delivering.
The Sens’ rookie posted another big week, scoring three goals in his last four games which doubled his total on the season. It started with a two-goal performance against the New Jersey Devils last Tuesday, in which he was named the game’s second star, followed by a game-tying goal a couple games later in the Sens’ comeback win against the Lightning.
At 21 years old, White seems to have found a permanent place for himself in the NHL. He’s been the most responsible two-way player of Ottawa’s rookie this year, while also putting his offensive ability to use. The coach is trusting him with over two minutes per game on the power play, and was even rewarded this week by being moved to the top line against Tampa Bay. He may not be catching Elias Pettersson, but White’s 11 points in 18 games has quietly placed him second in rookie scoring in the NHL.
The unfortunate news is that White left Sunday’s game against Florida early, with what was presumably shoulder injury. No updates have since been provided, although hopefully he’ll be healthy and ready for the Sens’ upcoming series of home games.
- Another incredible rookie, Brady Tkachuk came back from injury this week, and didn’t miss a step scoring a goal and an assist. He too was instrumental in that comeback win against Tampa.
- Massive news for goaltender for Joel Daccord, as with his two victories this week, Arizona State University is now a ranked college team for their first time in franchise history. Daccord has without a doubt been their most valuable player, as he’s played in every single game, recording three shutouts and posting a .930 save percentage. At 22 years old, he’s quickly climbing the ranks of the Sens’ top prospects.
- Alex Formenton had a split week, first playing two games with the London Knights (where he recorded eleven shots on goal), and then travelling to Sarnia for the annual Canada-Russia series. His team lost 4-0, although he had some of Team OHL’s best chances while playing on the top line with Barrett Hayton and Owen Tippett.
- Parker Kelly also represented for Team WHL in the series, although he was less instrumental. He had one shot on goal in their two games, in which his team went 1-1.
- While many of Belleville’s young forwards have been off to a torrid start, the opposite can be said for Gabriel Gagné, who has four points (only one goal) in twelve games. It doesn’t help that he’s been trusted less by the new coach, often finding himself on the fourth line, or in this week’s case, as a healthy scratch.
- And as it goes in a blowout loss for Patrick Sieloff, he had to start playing dirty during Belleville’s 8-2 tumble. He was assessed a match penalty for this dangerous hit attempt, plus the ensuing battle.
- The goalie behind that loss? Filip Gustavsson, allowing eight goals on 41 shots.
- Josh Norris finally cooled down a bit this week, with one assist in two games. He ended his seven-game point streak with six goals and six assists.