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Ottawa Senators Prospect Update: Josh Norris Surging in Belleville

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Josh Norris, Drake Batherson and Jakov Novak are this week’s biggest standouts.

NHL: JUN 25 Senators Development Camp Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome back to the weekly Ottawa Senators prospect update! Every Tuesday we’re bringing you news & notes from the Sens’ ever-so-important prospect pipeline, while highlighting some standout performances. The Belleville Senators went 2-1 this week, and a couple top prospects were their leaders.

Pro (NHL, AHL, ECHL)

- - - - - Since the last prospect update - | - T O T A L -
- - - - - Since the last prospect update - | - T O T A L -
PLAYER POS AGE LEAGUE GP G A P PIM SOG SH% | GP G A P PIM SOG SH%
Alex Formenton LW 20 AHL 2 2 0 2 4 8 25% | 9 3 1 4 14 19 16%
Drake Batherson RW 21 AHL 2 0 0 0 2 8 0% | 9 3 7 10 6 41 7%
NHL - - - - - - - | 2 0 0 0 2 0 0%
Filip Chlapik C 22 AHL - - - - - - - | 6 1 0 1 6 14 7%
NHL 2 0 0 0 2 1 0% | 4 0 1 1 4 1 0%
Jonathan Davidsson RW 22 AHL 2 1 1 2 2 5 20% | 8 1 2 3 4 9 11%
Josh Norris C 20 AHL 2 1 0 1 0 7 14% | 10 3 5 8 2 34 9%
Logan Brown C 21 AHL - - - - - - - | 5 3 4 7 6 9 33%
NHL 1 0 1 0 0 0 #DIV/0! | 4 0 2 2 0 4 0%
Max Veronneau RW 23 AHL 2 1 1 2 0 3 33% | 8 1 3 4 2 13 8%
Michael Carcone LW 23 AHL 2 1 0 1 0 7 14% | 10 3 2 5 4 27 11%
Morgan Klimchuk LW 24 AHL 2 0 0 0 0 1 0% | 9 2 1 3 2 12 17%
Parker Kelly C/RW 20 AHL 2 0 0 0 0 2 0% | 8 1 0 1 2 8 13%
Vitaly Abramov RW/LW 21 AHL 2 0 2 2 4 1 0% | 7 1 4 5 6 14 7%
NHL - - - - - - - | 2 1 0 1 2 3 33%
Andreas Englund LD 23 AHL - - - - - - - | 5 0 0 0 4 8 0%
Christian Jaros RD 23 AHL - - - - - - - | 7 1 1 2 0 11 9%
Maxime Lajoie LD 21 AHL 2 0 0 0 0 3 0% | 10 0 3 3 4 13 0%
Jean-Christophe Beaudin C/RW 22 NHL 2 0 0 0 5 2 0% | 5 0 0 0 5 4 0%
AHL - - - - - - - | 2 0 0 0 0 4 0%
Rudolfs Balcers LW 22 NHL - - - - - - - | - - - - - - -
Erik Brännström LD 20 NHL 2 0 0 0 0 1 0% | 13 0 1 1 6 13 0%
  • Logan Brown, Jean-Christophe Beaudin and Filip Chlapik were all up in the NHL this week, with Brown notching his first assist of the season.
  • Drake Batherson and Josh Norris each had over ten shots on goal in three games.
  • Erik Brännström has been silent in his past three NHL games.

Canadian Hockey League

- - - - - - Since the last prospect update - | - T O T A L -
- - - - - - Since the last prospect update - | - T O T A L -
PLAYER POS AGE TEAM LEAGUE GP G A P PIM SOG SH% | GP G A P PIM SOG SH%
Johnny Gruden LW 19 London Knights OHL 2 2 3 5 2 5 40% | 14 7 11 18 7 42 17%
Maxence Guénette RD 18 Val-d'Or Foreurs QMJHL 3 1 1 2 2 8 13% | 17 3 7 10 10 50 6%
Mark Kastelic C 20 Calgary Hitmen WHL 2 1 1 2 4 14 7% | 10 9 4 13 18 55 16%
  • Everyone had a point-per-game!
  • Mark Kastelic had 17 shots on goal in three games this week.

NCAA

- - - - - Since the last prospect update - | - T O T A L -
- - - - - Since the last prospect update - | - T O T A L -
PLAYER POS AGE TEAM GP G A P PIM SOG SH% | GP G A P PIM SOG SH%
Angus Crookshank LW 20 Univ. of New Hampshire 2 0 0 0 2 6 0% | 24 12 4 16 12 93 13%
Chris Wilkie RW 23 Colorado College 2 0 0 0 0 19 0% | 22 17 8 25 13 122 14%
Jakov Novak LW/C 21 Bentley Univ. 2 0 3 3 2 5 0% | 26 14 12 26 39 75 19%
Luke Loheit RW 19 Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth 2 1 0 1 0 3 0% | 23 3 1 4 6 18 17%
Shane Pinto C 19 Univ. of North Dakota 2 0 2 2 2 1 0% | 23 11 9 20 27 61 18%
Todd Burgess C/RW 23 RPI 1 0 0 0 2 1 0% | 22 4 2 6 14 48 8%
Jacob Bernard-Docker RD 19 Univ. of North Dakota 2 0 0 0 0 4 0% | 22 3 13 16 8 39 8%
Jonny Tychonick LD 19 Univ. of North Dakota 1 1 0 1 0 2 0% | 18 4 6 10 6 10 40%
  • Newcomer Christopher Wilkie has six points in four games this season with Colorado College.
  • Finally, at long last, Jonny Tychonick scored his first career NCAA goal!

European Leagues

- - - - - - Since the last prospect update - | - T O T A L -
- - - - - - Since the last prospect update - | - T O T A L -
PLAYER POS AGE TEAM LEAGUE GP G A P PIM SOG SH% | GP G A P PIM SOG SH%
Markus Nurmi RW/LW 21 TPS Liiga 2 0 0 0 0 2 0% | 16 2 3 5 6 33 6%
Lassi Thomson RD 19 Ilves Liiga - - - - - - - | 14 3 3 6 4 54 6%
Viktor Lodin C/LW 20 Örebro HK SHL 2 0 1 1 0 5 0% | 12 0 2 2 0 9 0%
Olle Alsing LD 23 Djurgårdens IF SHL 2 1 0 1 2 8 13% | 14 3 9 12 10 28 11%
  • Lassi Thomson missed a week of play due to injury.
  • Olle Alsing scored a goal this week with eight shots in two games.

Goalies

- - - - - Since the last prospect update - - | - T O T A L - -
- - - - - Since the last prospect update - - | - T O T A L - -
PLAYER AGE TEAM LEAGUE GP W L OTL SOL SA GA SV% | GP W L OTL SOL SA GA SV%
Filip Gustavsson 21 Belleville Senators AHL 1 1 0 0 0 31 3 90.3% | 3 2 1 0 0 83 12 85.5%
Marcus Högberg 24 Belleville Senators AHL 2 1 1 0 0 73 6 91.8% | 6 1 4 0 0 166 18 89.2%
Joey Daccord 23 Brampton Beast ECHL 1 1 0 0 0 29 2 93.1% | 4 2 2 0 0 127 13 89.8%
Kevin Mandolese 19 Cape Breton Eagles QMJHL 1 0 1 0 0 31 3 90.3% | 9 6 2 0 0 250 23 90.8%
Mads Søgaard 18 Medicine Hat Tigers WHL 1 0 1 0 0 39 4 89.7% | 10 5 4 1 0 292 25 91.4%
  • Joey Daccord picked up his second win of the season, stopping 27 of 29 shots.
  • Both Marcus Högberg and Filip Gustavsson still have their overall save percentage below 90%.

Biggest Standouts

Josh Norris

The injuries to Colin White and Artem Anisimov have pushed all of Ottawa’s centres up the lineup. Logan Brown is in the NHL, and Josh Norris, who was previously held back in the bottom six, has moved into a top six role. He’s been excellent in the increased minutes, notching a goal and three assists this week. He’s now riding a four-game scoring streak (2G, 5A), after being scoreless in his first four.

Of all the pro rookies entering Belleville this season, Norris was the most anticipated following his stellar season at the University of Michigan. While I have yet to get a full grasp of the defensive side of the two-way game he’s been lauded for, he’s turned on the offensive half, showing some chemistry with Vitaly Abramov in the last couple games. Maybe a potential call-up could be in store?

Drake Batherson

When Drake Batherson was sent down shortly after the season’s start, the expectation was that he would continue to dominate the AHL like he did last season. He’s done exactly that, with ten points in seven games so far, while averaging nearly five shots on goal per game. This week he recorded a goal and assist against Providence, plus another assist earlier in the week.

With the Senators on a break before picking back up Saturday, they’re likely going to be making a couple more call-ups ahead of their three-game road trip. Batherson was pencilled into the NHL roster by many at the start of the season, myself included, and his quick demotion was a tad surprising. Here’s hoping he gets another chance, and can graduate from the AHL once and for all.

Jakov Novak

The 2018 7th round pick stood out amongst the Sens’ many NCAA prospects this past week, with two goals and an assist for Bentley University. At 21 years old, the forward is only three goals away from matching his total from last season.

Given how late Novak was picked in the draft as an overager, it’s tough to set any kind of expectations for him. Bentley isn’t considered an esteemed program, but he’s already turning into their leader in his second season, leading them in scoring and ranking second in shots on goal. He’s a tall player, and from what I’ve seen at development camp he’s still working on filling out his frame and figuring out how to use it effectively. Hopefully he can use this strong week as a stepping stone going forward.

Silver Linings

  • New prospect alert! The Sens acquired the rights to Christopher Wilkie from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Jack Rodewald. Wilkie’s on a hot start for Colorado College with six points in four games, although he’s a 23-year-old winger in his final NCAA season. He becomes a free agent in the off-season if the Sens don’t sign him.
  • As mentioned earlier, the Senators are on a break this week before resuming Saturday. Filip Chlapik and Jean-Christophe Beaudin were sent back down, although Belleville is also on a break with their next game on Friday. This is good news for Logan Brown, who seems to be sticking in the NHL for the time being.
  • Five years after drafting him in the third round, Miles Gendron finally made his AHL debut with the Senators after being called up from Brampton. He’s filling in for the injured Andreas Englund, whereas Christian Jaros only had to miss one game.
  • Alex Formenton went down with a minor injury this week, but he was back for Belleville’s most recent game on the first line with Jordan Szwarz and Michael Carcone.
  • A glaring omission from last week’s prospect news was the injury to Lassi Thomson, which kept him out of action this week. Details on the injury are still unknown, although it’s not believed to not be anything serious.
  • More on Lassi: he was named to Finland’s U20 team at the Four Nations Tournament, which starts in under two weeks.
  • With Regina hosting the NHL’s outdoor game this past week, Mark Kastelic had the chance to play on the surface as the Calgary Hitmen faced the Regina Pats. He scored a nice shorthanded goal, too.

Stats are from AHL, CollegeHockeyInc, ECHL, EliteProspects, Liiga, OHL, QMJHL, SHL, and WHL.