It’s playoff season! While the Sens may be out of it, and the B-Sens are still fighting for a spot, there’s a handful of prospects going for glory in their respective leagues. We’ll go through that and more in this week’s Sens prospect update.
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With the London Knights facing the Windsor Spitfires in round one of the OHL playoffs, they haven’t had any trouble so far, blasting off to a 3-0 series lead. Alex Formenton was named the 2nd star after scoring a goal and two assists in a 4-3 win, then had five shots on goal in game two’s 5-0 win, then had another three-point night in game three as they dismantled Windsor 6-3.
Alex Formenton had another big playoff performance, putting up 4 points (1G, 3A) in a 6-3 win, good for 3rd star honours ⭐️— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) March 27, 2019
Formenton has 7 points (2-5-7) in the first 3 games of London's opening round series against Windsor. pic.twitter.com/QX5ICzFisj
As impressive as this is, it comes with a caveat: five of his six points also involved one of Evan Bouchard or Adam Boqvist also getting on the scoresheet. With two of the OHL’s best defenceman playing on the same team, Formenton is receiving more than enough help to make London a dominant team. He’s using his incredible speed to help complete plays, although it’s something to keep in mind as his point totals continue to rise. London will try to close out the series tomorrow night.
Marc Crawford had some excellent quotes about Brady Tkachuk this week, calling him the “leading rookie shooter”. While that may be a stretch considering Andrei Svechnikov and Elias Pettersson exist, that shouldn’t detract from the fact that Tkachuk has been playing some excellent hockey as of late.
Against the Oilers, he scored the stunning overtime winner, and picked up a bank-shot goal earlier in the game. Add in his goal against the Canucks, and that’s three tallies in the last four games for the Sens’ young star.
Brady ends it in OT! @EASportsNHL pic.twitter.com/714GapY3Mv— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 23, 2019
While a 39-point-season may not exactly scream ‘star player’, taking into account that he missed time at the beginning of the year, he’d be on pace for just under 50 points in 82 games. It’s a relief to see Tkachuk still performing at a high level and putting up great results in the wake of the Sens losing Mark Stone, who played almost exclusively on a line with Tkachuk. He’s still very young and has room to grow, although I’ve been very impressed with how well Tkachuk has handled stepping into the NHL so quickly.
- Similarly to London, Parker Kelly and the Prince Albert Raiders are on the brink of the second round, up 3-0 against the Red Deer Rebels. Kelly has an empty-net goal and one assist so far.
- As for Markus Nurmi, 4th seed TPS Turku lost their first two games to the 5th seed, HPK. They won game three 19 minutes into overtime, with Nurmi earning an assist on one of the earlier goals — that already ties his playoff point total from last season (one assist in eleven games). At the time of publishing, game four is already in the midst of happening.
- Aaron Luchuk’s rollercoaster season continues — since the beginning of March, he’s switched between the Belleville Sens and the Brampton Beast six times. He was recalled to the AHL squad again yesterday.
- For the first time in franchise history, Arizona State is off to the NCAA playoff tournament! Led by the unstoppable Joey Daccord, they’ll be facing Quinnipac in the first round starting this Saturday. They have a couple strong goalies of their own, including Andrew Shortridge (23 years old, 94.1% Sv%) and Keith Petruzzelli (2017 3rd round pick, 90.4% Sv%).
- Aside from Tkachuk, another prospect solidifying his position this week was Rudolfs Balcers, who registered a goal and two assists in four games this week.