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Ottawa Senators Prospect Update: Brännström and Daccord steal the show

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Even with a quiet week in prospect land, there’s always something to talk about.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

It was a winter lull for many of the Sens prospects this past week. Many of those applying their trade in the NCAA were off on a bye-week, and the CHLers and Europeans are all in World Junior mode.

Thankfully, the BSens continued their winning ways, and with their deepest lineup of Sens prospects with the return of Erik Brännström. Let’s get into this week’s statistics!

Pro (AHL, NHL, 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 1 1 2 2 5 20% | 24 12 6 18 24 58 21%
Drake Batherson RW 21 AHL 2 1 2 3 4 3 33% | 25 11 23 34 18 79 14%
NHL - - - - - - - | 2 0 0 0 2 0 0%
Jonathan Davidsson RW 22 AHL - - - - - - - | 11 2 2 4 6 13 15%
NHL 2 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 5 0 1 1 0 3 0%
Josh Norris C 20 AHL 2 1 0 1 2 4 25% | 25 11 10 21 10 65 17%
Max Veronneau RW 24 AHL 2 0 0 0 0 0 #DIV/0! | 20 5 3 8 2 25 20%
NHL - - - - - - - | 4 0 0 0 0 3 0%
Michael Carcone LW 23 AHL 2 0 0 0 2 5 0% | 25 3 4 7 25 54 6%
Morgan Klimchuk LW 24 AHL 2 0 0 0 2 4 0% | 21 5 3 8 8 33 15%
Parker Kelly C/RW 20 AHL - - - - - - - | 21 1 0 1 4 19 5%
Rudolfs Balcers LW 22 AHL 2 0 3 3 4 3 0% | 12 6 12 18 6 19 32%
Vitaly Abramov RW/LW 21 AHL - - - - - - - | 18 8 9 17 14 48 17%
NHL - - - - - - - | 2 1 0 1 2 3 33%
Andreas Englund LD 23 AHL 1 0 0 0 0 2 0% | 11 0 0 0 15 14 0%
NHL 1 0 0 0 0 1 0% | 1 0 0 0 0 1 0%
Christian Jaros RD 23 AHL 1 0 1 1 0 0 #DIV/0! | 20 1 9 10 4 23 4%
NHL - - - - - - - | 1 0 0 0 4 0 0%
Maxime Lajoie LD 22 AHL - - - - - - - | 17 0 5 5 14 21 0%
NHL 1 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 4 0 0 0 0 2 0%
Filip Chlapik C 22 NHL - - - - - - - | 18 2 3 5 10 17 12%
AHL 2 0 0 0 2 3 0% | 10 1 1 2 10 20 5%
Jean-Christophe Beaudin C/RW 22 NHL - - - - - - - | 15 0 1 1 7 12 0%
AHL 2 1 1 2 0 5 20% | 7 1 2 3 0 12 8%
Logan Brown C 21 NHL 3 0 2 2 0 2 0% | 18 1 7 8 4 20 5%
AHL - - - - - - - | 5 3 4 7 6 9 33%
Erik Brännström LD 20 NHL 1 0 0 0 2 2 0% | 24 0 2 2 14 26 0%
AHL 2 1 2 3 0 2 50% | 4 1 3 4 4 5 20%
  • Another ho-hum two points for Alex Formenton
  • J.C. Beaudin had his best week as a Belleville Senator, recording a two of his three points in a BSens win over Rockford
  • Drake Batherson (four points) and Rudolfs Balcers (three points) continued their scoring ways in Belleville’s last two 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 3 4 1 5 0 14 29% | 44 21 28 49 21 112 19%
Maxence Guénette RD 18 Val-d'Or Foreurs QMJHL 3 0 2 2 4 2 0% | 45 8 22 30 20 100 8%
Mark Kastelic C 20 Calgary Hitmen WHL 2 2 3 5 2 8 25% | 39 23 22 45 59 143 16%
  • As Colin mentioned in last week’s update, Mark Kastelic was injured after falling into the boards. He didn’t suit up last week, and is day-to-day with a leg injury.
  • Johnny Gruden put up another two points for London, and is third in team scoring. He’ll be fighting for a roster spot at the U.S. World Juniors camp 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 - - - - - - - | 16 8 2 10 8 67 12%
Chris Wilkie RW 23 Colorado College 2 0 0 0 2 7 0% | 14 9 7 16 11 56 16%
Jakov Novak LW/C 21 Bentley Univ. 1 0 1 1 2 1 0% | 17 9 8 17 25 41 22%
Luke Loheit RW 19 Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth - - - - - - - | 16 2 1 3 6 13 15%
Shane Pinto C 19 Univ. of North Dakota - - - - - - - | 17 8 6 14 10 47 17%
Todd Burgess C/RW 23 RPI - - - - - - - | 16 4 2 6 12 31 13%
Jacob Bernard-Docker RD 19 Univ. of North Dakota - - - - - - - | 17 3 11 14 8 31 10%
Jonny Tychonick LD 19 Univ. of North Dakota - - - - - - - | 12 3 4 7 2 8 38%
  • Lots of Sens prospects off on a bye-week; no injuries to report
  • Jakov Novak added an assist to keep his point-per-game streak going

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 3 1 1 2 2 5 20% | 43 9 11 20 22 91 10%
Lassi Thomson RD 19 Ilves Liiga 2 0 0 0 0 6 0% | 27 6 4 10 8 90 7%
Viktor Lodin C/LW 20 Örebro HK SHL - - - - - - - | 22 0 4 4 2 20 0%
HC Vita Hästen Allsvenskan - - - - - - - | 10 3 2 5 2 26 12%
Olle Alsing LD 23 Djurgårdens IF SHL 2 0 0 0 0 1 0% | 36 4 16 20 20 55 7%
  • Blanks across the board in Europe
  • While his statistics in the Champions Hockey League aren’t mentioned on our stats sheet, Olle Alsing’s 14 points in 10 games leads all defencemen in scoring. He’s third in tournament scoring, behind two Frölunda forwards

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 26 2 92.3% | 10 7 3 1 0 318 38 88.1%
Marcus Högberg 25 Belleville Senators AHL - - - - - - - - | 15 7 6 0 0 408 42 89.7%
Ottawa Senators NHL - - - - - - - - | 2 0 1 0 0 40 3 92.5%
Joey Daccord 23 Brampton Beast ECHL - - - - - - - - | 12 7 5 0 0 342 34 90.1%
Belleville Senators AHL 1 1 0 0 0 35 1 97.1% | 2 2 0 0 0 62 2 96.8%
Kevin Mandolese 19 Cape Breton Eagles QMJHL 3 0 2 1 0 102 9 91.2% | 16 8 5 1 0 426 39 90.8%
Mads Søgaard 19 Medicine Hat Tigers WHL - - - - - - - - | 19 11 6 1 0 516 49 90.5%
  • Nice to see Kevin Mandolese suit up for games after returning from injury last week. His 0.912 sv% over three starts improved his season numbers up to a 0.908 sv%
  • Marcus Hogberg is up in Ottawa, and will likely start tomorrow against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tough test for the rookie, who’s set to become Ottawa’s backup goaltender on a permanent basis next year.
  • We’ll have more on the other two in action later...

Biggest Standouts

Erik Brännström

He’s likely only back in Ottawa due to injury, but even last night, Brännström looked like the offensively engaged talent that we expected given last year’s AHL campaign.

When he was sent down, this is what Brännström himself had to say about his game:

“I just want to get some confidence and hopefully I can be back there soon,” Brannstrom said after Belleville’s morning skate Friday before their contest with Cleveland tonight. “[Ottawa] just wants me to play more. I haven’t been as they expected. I think they want me to get some confidence back.”

While the AHL doesn’t track ice-time for public consumption, it looks as though he played 20+ minutes in all four games, and produced four points — one goal, three assists — over that timeframe. While he looked out-of-place systems-wise, with Troy Mann putting a different structure in place compared to D.J. Smith, It was fun to watch Brännström utilize his hands and skating ability to lead rushes up the ice, which you can see on the assist below:

It was also nice to see him get first unit powerplay time, especially with Belleville struggling on the advantage compared to last year. He hasn’t translated his tendency for shot generation in Sweden over to North America, but is able to score from distance on pro goaltenders when given the time and space, notching his first goal in a Sens jersey on Saturday afternoon:

While he’ll likely learn to utilize his teammates more in transition — a key component to offence from the defensive zone on smaller ice surfaces — it’s clear that Brännström has all of the tools necessary to succeed. It really sounds like the individual video work he got from the BSens coaching staff helped him tremendously, and we’ll see how long Dorion and co. keep him up in Ottawa.

Joey Daccord

Two games, two wins for Joey Daccord. While the 23-year-old netminder is used to unstructured environments and seeing a lot of pucks from his first year in Arizona State, he plays such a composed game that favours the more structured pro environment.

In the highlight packs below, the first from Brampton, and the second from Belleville, you can see some of Daccord’s athleticism on display.

Craig Anderson will likely not be out for much longer, meaning Marcus Hogberg will return to the BSens crease. Part of me wants the older Daccord to continue to split the crease as he’s been nothing but solid in the BSens net; while I’m also aware that Filip Gustavsson has played solid over the last month despite having poor overall numbers.

Silver Linings

  • A year after being the final cut on defence, Jacob Bernard-Docker has been named to Team Canada. Expect him to play on the team’s first penalty kill, and receive top-four minutes on the right-side. The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler thinks that Bernard-Docker has a good chance to receive a letter, too.
  • Meanwhile, if these lines are any indication, Shane Pinto appears to have a better shot to make Team USA over Johnny Gruden.
  • The Athletic’s Corey Pronman re-ranked the 2017 NHL Draft, and had four current Sens prospects in the top-20. Batherson (#14), Norris (#15), Brännström (#17), and Formenton (#18). It’s an interesting ranking for many reasons. Colin and I had Batherson and Brännström at the top of the Sens prospect pool at the start of the season, and both look the closest to being ‘pro’ ready given that the latter’s already spent much of the season in the NHL, while the former leads the AHL in scoring. However, Norris and Formenton have been two of the AHL’s top rookies this season, so their strong play can’t go unnoticed as well. While the 2015 NHL Draft seemed to have kicked off the rebuild with Thomas Chabot, Colin White, Christian Wolanin, Christian Jaros, and Filip Chlapik all in the mix, 2017 looks prime to add some top-end talent to this group.
  • Two of the best AHL analysts, Patrick Williams and David Foot, have a podcast called Around the A that has been airing all season. BSens head coach Troy Mann was on for ~60 minutes, and gave a lot of insight into his coaching style, the difference between Belleville and Hersey, and his thoughts on the young talent the Sens have in Belleville this season. Give it a listen here.