NCAA hockey kicked off their regular season this week, and with the Ottawa Senators drafting heavily from the league in recent years, a few players stood out during their opening games. All that and more is covered in this week’s prospect update.
Pro (NHL, AHL, ECHL)
- Logan Brown and Drake Batherson combined for nine points in four games.
- Everyone else in the AHL (except for Morgan Klimchuk) was held off the scoreboard.
Canadian Hockey League
|Johnny Gruden||LW||19||London Knights||OHL||2||1||2||3||0||7||14%|||||7||3||5||8||5||25||12%|
|Maxence Guénette||RD||18||Val-d'Or Foreurs||QMJHL||3||1||2||3||0||10||10%|||||10||1||4||5||6||28||4%|
|Mark Kastelic||C||20||Calgary Hitmen||WHL||2||3||0||3||8||12||25%|||||3||3||1||4||10||14||21%|
- Three points for everybody!
- Mark Kastelic racked up eight penalty minutes in two games.
|Angus Crookshank||LW||20||Univ. of New Hampshire||2||1||0||1||2||9||11%|||||2||1||0||1||2||9||11%|
|Jakob Novak||LW/C||20||Bentley Univ.||2||1||0||1||2||9||11%|||||2||1||0||1||2||9||11%|
|Luke Loheit||RW||19||Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth||2||0||0||0||0||0||0%|||||2||0||0||0||0||0||0%|
|Shane Pinto||C||18||Univ. of North Dakota||2||1||1||2||2||8||13%|||||2||1||1||2||2||8||13%|
|Jacob Bernard-Docker||RD||19||Univ. of North Dakota||2||0||4||4||0||9||0%|||||2||0||4||4||0||9||0%|
|Jonny Tychonick||LD||19||Univ. of North Dakota||1||0||1||1||0||1||0%|||||1||0||1||1||0||1||0%|
- Two UND prospects with point-per-game weeks, Jacob Bernard-Docker and Shane Pinto.
- Angus Crookshank and Jakov Novak both scored a goal and took nine shots on goal during opening week.
|Viktor Lodin||C/LW||20||Örebro HK||SHL||2||0||0||0||0||0||0%|||||8||0||1||1||0||4||0.0|
|Olle Alsing||LD||23||Djurgårdens IF||SHL||2||0||1||1||0||6||29%|||||10||2||8||10||8||19||10.5|
- Olle Alsing stays above point-per-game on the season.
- Lassi Thomson took 10 shots on goal in two games, with his total of 51 leading Ilves.
|Filip Gustavsson||21||Belleville Senators||AHL||1||1||0||0||0||31||4||87.1%|||||1||1||0||0||0||31||4||87.1%|
|Marcus Högberg||24||Belleville Senators||AHL||1||0||1||0||0||21||2||90.5%|||||2||0||2||0||0||53||5||90.6%|
|Joey Daccord||23||Brampton Beast||ECHL||2||1||1||0||0||65||7||89.2%|||||2||1||1||0||0||65||7||89.2%|
|Kevin Mandolese||19||Cape Breton Eagles||QMJHL||2||1||1||0||0||67||6||91.0%|||||6||4||1||0||0||157||16||89.8%|
|Mads Søgaard||18||Medicine Hat Tigers||WHL||2||2||0||0||0||48||3||93.8%|||||7||4||2||1||0||186||14||92.5%|
- Mads Søgaard had another fantastic week, stopping 45 of 48 shots.
- Joey Daccord made his first two ECHL starts of the season, with Filip Gustavsson beginning the year in the AHL.
The Sens’ first round pick in 2018 is starting the season off hot, with four assists in his first two games. All four came in the same game while playing on the second half of a back-to-back, as the University of North Dakota blasted Canisius College by a score of 8-1. Here was one of his assists, a tipped shot from the point, assisted by Shane Pinto.
Jacob Bernard-Docker!— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) October 13, 2019
JBD has a has a 3 point (1G,2A) Saturday night going for UND! His first of the season came on his patented stutter shot move. Shane Pinto picked up an assist on this goal too. #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/mXiRdicJ2k
His first game of the week was just as impressive despite not touching the scoreboard, as UND allowed only eleven shots on goal for the duration of the game. Bernard-Docker is already solidifying himself as a top-pairing defenceman in the NCAA in his sophomore season, being deployed in all situations. He’s a virtual lock for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships, but until then, let’s hope he can keep up his early success.
Logan Brown & Drake Batherson
I won’t dive too deep into the stellar performances of Logan Brown and Drake Batherson — I suggest you check out Spencer’s weekly Belleville update. The duo had insane chemistry last season on a line with Nick Paul, and the trio reconnected in their first game re-united together.
The steamrolling occurred in their game against Binghamton, where the line combined for a dozen points, as Belleville took the game 5-4 in overtime. They were involved in every single goal — Brown scored the opening two, and Batherson sealed it with the overtime winner.
Seeing the damage this group can do in the AHL, it would be entertaining to see what they could do together in the NHL. Batherson was quickly sent down after two weak NHL games, although any confidence he’d supposedly lost seems to have been quickly regained. As for Brown, he hasn’t missed a step since last season, proving he can handle top minutes playing pro hockey. It will only be a matter of time before they’re both knocking on the doors of the main roster.
The Calgary Hitmen went 0-2 this week, but their captain continued to lead by example. Mark Kastelic scored three of his team’s seven goals, while adding 14 shots on net. The 20-year-old centre missed the team’s first few games after surviving a couple rounds of cuts in the Sens’ training camp, but he’s already making noise with his physical game. It landed him in some penalty trouble too, sitting in the box for eight minutes.
Mark Kastelic PPG— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) October 13, 2019
Calgary's captain scored his first goal of the WHL season on Saturday night. No surprise it came on the powerplay - Kastelic had 24 PPG(!) last year. He's got 2 points in 2GP. #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/RlpccOpIOO
Following his big season for the Hitmen, the Sens decided to take a chance on Kastelic as an overager in the 2019 draft. His 47 goals was third highest in the WHL, and as @SensProspects pointed out in the above clip, a lot of those came on the power play. He was also shooting at a high rate of 18.4% last season, so sustaining his pace from last season may be a high bar to set. But if he can continue his early success, and diversify himself as an effective 5v5 player, he could prove to be a good gamble from draft day.
- With all the prospects sent down to Belleville, it’s created some major congestion with the forwards. Jonathan Davidsson and Max Veronneau were supposed to be pushing for an NHL roster spot in training camp, but instead both were healthy scratched in the AHL at least once this past week, with Veronneau not even seeing a second of action. Josh Norris and Filip Chlapik have also been stuck in the bottom six.
- In the NHL, Erik Brännström and Vitaly Abramov both recorded their first NHL points! Abramov was tossed on the fourth line with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Scott Sabourin, scored his first NHL goal with minimal ice time... then was promptly sent down two days later.
- After a slow start, Maxence Guénette had a solid week for Val-d’Or with a goal and two assists.
- While Bernard-Docker and Pinto both had good weeks, Jonny Tychonick watched from the sidelines, healthy scratched for one of UND’s two games. This occurred a handful of times last season, although now that he’s no longer a freshman, it’s even more concerning that he can’t gain his coach’s trust.
- For EP Rinkside (paywall), last week’s Biggest Standout Olle Alsing gave the following quotes:
“I’m a calmer player now”, Alsing explained. ”Going into this year, I’ve felt like I’m an established player on this team. Last year, it was more of an unsure situation about who was going to be in the line-up and who wasn’t. I was lucky and got to prove myself. My self-confidence has grown in this past year and I’ve gotten more responsibility. I don’t feel like I have to prove that I can play hockey this year. People know that I can be relied upon now.”
”Some teams aren’t willing to offer that solution. They want you to come and play in the AHL”, Alsing said. ”But Ottawa was a team that actually thought this was a good idea. We came to this solution and it feels really good. Had they not agreed to this, I would probably not have signed with them.”