With the Ottawa Senators on their bye week, a handful of prospects were sent down to Belleville for a few games. The AHL held their all-star weekend this past week as well, where Christian Wolanin and Drake Batherson represented the team in Springfield (more on that later). Below is a statistical recap of the past week in the land of Sens prospects.
(Click to enlarge)
The Prince Albert Raiders continue to make a mockery of the rest of the WHL, and Parker Kelly is contributing. While Kelly only made it on the scoresheet in one of three games this week, he had four points in that contest, as his team dismantled the Kootenay (soon to be Winnipeg) Ice.
4-point night for Parker Kelly— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) January 27, 2019
Kelly was named 2nd star in a 7-3 win. He's up to 48 points (23-25-48) in 48GP with WHL Prince Albert, who have a record of 41-6-0-2 pic.twitter.com/J0l2cK3UWk
You’ve seen Kelly pop up in this section a handful of times, and it’s always the same question: is he a product of his teammates or do the Sens have a decent prospect on their hands? Macoy Erkamps is a perfect example of this, as his point totals were boosted by playing with Ivan Provorov. Although with Kelly it’s not quite as obvious, as he’s still playing second line minutes. His teammates aren’t exactly the most high-profile players either, although the results seem to be flowing for Prince Albert.
It’s a good sign that the majority of Kelly’s assists are primary. He also isn’t getting prime power play minutes either. I can’t help but be skeptical considering the Sens’ track record with CHL free agents, although if Kelly can turn even into a useful AHLer, that would surpass my expectations from when he was originally signed.
Where does his ceiling end? Joel Daccord pulled out another incredible week, as he continues to drag Arizona State University into NCAA relevance. Boston College has been no challenge for the young netminder, as he shut them out for the second time this season, in ASU’s 3-0 victory facing 28 shots. His previous game was not quite as smooth, being pulled after allowing four goals on 28 shots. Although his coach explained it as preserving him for their next game against Boston, which evidently paid off.
Daccord is up to a league-leading seven shutouts this season, which is even more impressive considering Arizona has one of the weakest defensive corps in the entire NCAA. This was a quote recently given by his coach Greg Powers:
“That’s the difference in Joey this year. He’s always had the technique and talent and fundamentals. It’s just his brain and maturity catching up to his talent. Now he has all three.”
Signing Daccord will be at the top of the Sens’ prospect to-do list this summer, although they’ll have to fit him into a system that already includes Marcus Hogberg, Filip Gustavsson and Mike Condon. At least he’ll already be used to playing in front of porous defence.
Batherson’s stellar week came in two parts. First, he broke out of his nine-game pointless drought with three straight multi-point games, including his first goal in twelve games. Then he headed to the AHL All-Star weekend and destroyed the competition, scoring five goals in the tournament-style format and being named MVP.
We know what Batherson can do, he put it on full display in the first couple months of his rookie season. His shooting luck started to regress, and it appears that he’s jumping right back into being the rookie phenom that he became in 2018. And while the All-Star game may not be the most competitive environment, it’s still satisfying to watch him come out on top. He and Wolanin together brought victory to the North division.
- A few injury updates. Alex Formenton is getting closer to a return for London. He’s been in Ottawa rehabbing his knee injury, and should hopefully be back sometime in February.
- Fellow 2018 draftees Jonny Tychonick and Jacob Bernard-Docker are finally playing on the same pair for the University of North Dakota. It’s on the third pairing, but we’ll take it.
- A couple goalie prospects besides Daccord also had strong weeks, as Jordan Hollett brought his save percentage back to 90%, and Marcus Hogberg stopped 47 of 51 shots in two games. Hogberg has now played in Belleville’s last four games.
- Gabriel Gagne poured the salt in the wound, as the recently traded prospect scored the shootout winner while the B-Sens faced the Toronto Marlies.
- Check out friend-of-the-blog Sens Prospects’ season recap video of Josh Norris. It’s unfortunate that it came this early, although there’s a lot to look forward to from his career.