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Ottawa Senators Prospect Update: Alex Formenton dashes into the conversation

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Formenton, Logan Brown, and Olle Alsing are this week’s biggest standouts

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Boston Bruins Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The period after the December holiday and spring can be a trying time for many, so I hope this prospect update brings you a bit of joy. While the Senators are struggling to record any wins on the ice, the Belleville Senators won last night and are now first in their division. Over in the CHL, NCAA, and Europe, there are Sens prospects thriving as well. Let’s get to the updates!

Biggest Standouts

Alex Formenton

No one shone this week as much as Alex Formenton, who is now tied with teammate Josh Norris for first in AHL rookie goal scoring with 20 goals. The duo, who only really play together on the powerplay and when Troy Mann mixes his lines, are also tied for third among all AHL skaters in goals.

What’s impressed me the most about Formenton is his ability to always be engaged in the play. I intentionally didn’t clip any of his goals this past week (but you know where to find them!), and instead, chose the clip below because it nicely showcases how many chances he creates for himself with his feet, and how playing with a playmaking centre like Brown amplifies his game.

I’ve been pretty public with not being as high on Formenton heading into this year because he didn’t have the final junior year I would expect from a prospect of his calibre. Well, his first year of pro is doing a lot to assuage any of my concerns.

If he learns to reduce the amount he crosses the line (and takes a penalty), but continues to stay engaged, the Senators have a hell of a piece to add to the team when they’re ready to compete.

Logan Brown

Logan Brown had four of his six assists this week come in last night’s win over Manitoba, and deserves a shootout because of how hard he’s working all over the ice.

A common criticism of Brown is that he’s often not engaged physically for a player his size, something I’m old enough to remember being a concern for a young Jason Spezza back in his day. Well, like Spezza learned to do, Brown’s physicality appears to be one where he’s looking to use his size to separate players from the puck before sending the puck into dangerous areas. See exhibit A below:

Of course, his trademark vision was still on display, and passes like this — combined with what we’ve seen recently from Batherson at the NHL level — makes me salivate for Ottawa’s powerplay when they both receive regular minutes in a set-up designed for them.

Brown has succeeded with many different types of linemates in Belleville, from the north-south play of Nick Paul, to the cerebral Drake Batherson, to the (now) speedy duo of Alex Formenton and Michael Carcone. It appears that Troy Mann’s system can get the best out of Brown’s play, but that he struggles a bit more in D.J. Smith’s set-up, where he likes his centres to go low and help drive the play up the ice. Where the compromise ends up coming with Brown will be interesting, because we all know he certainly has the talent to become a top-six player at the NHL level.

Olle Alsing

We mentioned Alsing a lot in October, as he burst out of the gate as our surprise of the season. While he continues to play top minutes as a 23-year-old in the SHL, Alsing’s point production had faded in league play. The last time we highlighted him, it was telling you about his Champions League play where he was leading his team (and the tournament at one point) in scoring.

It’s nice to see him back on the scoresheet, and the way his season plays out will be something to watch. If Djurgårdens gets eliminated early, does he join Brännström and Davidsson in Belleville for their run?

Silver Linings

  • I didn’t want to double-dip on mentioning Josh Norris, but the first-year pro had another strong week as Belleville’s second-line pivot. He had five points and 14 shots on goal in four games.
  • Michael Carcone had been a disappointment so far this season, but it appears that lining up alongside Alex Formenton and Logan Brown has done wonders for him. He had a first-period hat-trick last night, and also had 14 shots on goal this past week. 17 points in 35 games starts to look more respectable, and comes at a great time for Belleville having lost Batherson, Balcers, and Chlapik.
  • A negative this week for Belleville? The penalty minutes. Formenton (6), Brown (6), and Brännström (8) all spent a significant amount of time in the box, and sloppy minors will be things to ease up on as they look to advance to the pro level.
  • The QMJHL trade deadline has come and gone with Maxence Guénette remaining in a Val D’Or sweater. The Foreurs and Kevin Mandolese’s Cape Breton Eagles are both middle-of-the-pack teams that likely won’t have deep playoff runs.
  • The shots on goal leader this week? Chris Wilkie, with 21 (!!!) and three points in two games. He has an absurd 42 shots on goal in his last five games with Colorado College.
  • Markus Nurmi continues to have a solid year, with another two points this week bringing his season totals up to 16 in 37 games. He’s playing middle-six minutes (15:37/game) with TPS, and will be an interesting player to watch in a stacked Sens system that has to be wary of contract spots..
  • Speaking of contract spots, what the Sens do in net with Kevin Mandolese and Mads Søgaard will be fascinating. Søgaard has the second-round pick pedigree, but continues to struggle. Medicine Hat is 28-12, but mainly off the backs of an offence that have put up 182 goals so far — 17 higher than the next closest WHL team.
  • Lassi Thomson hasn’t suited up for Ilves since returning, but doesn’t appear to be injured. We’ll update you next week on his return to the lineup.
  • Here’s an interview with UND’s Jacob Bernard-Docker and Shane Pinto on their World Juniors experience. UND beat writer Brad Schlossman had a print interview with JBD as well.
  • Word broke on Saturday that Pinto was recruited to one of the OHL’s top teams, the local Ottawa 67s, but decided to stay at UND. According to Pinto himself, that report isn’t true. Weird story.
  • We’re always using his gifs, but if you wanted to read @SensProspects’ write-up on the farm system in December, give this piece a read!

Weekly Stats

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 3 0 1 1 4 6 0% | 43 21 13 34 42 108 19%
Drake Batherson RW 21 AHL 3 1 3 4 0 8 13% | 37 14 32 46 24 119 12%
NHL 1 0 1 1 0 2 0% | 10 1 2 3 6 13 8%
Jonathan Davidsson RW 22 AHL - - - - - - 0% | 18 2 3 5 6 19 11%
NHL - - - - - - - | 6 0 1 1 0 3 0%
Josh Norris C 20 AHL 1 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 42 22 18 40 12 121 18%
Max Veronneau RW 24 AHL - - - - - - - | 33 5 5 10 2 30 17%
NHL - - - - - - - | 4 0 0 0 0 3 0%
Michael Carcone LW 23 AHL 3 1 0 1 2 4 25% | 41 10 9 19 37 92 11%
Morgan Klimchuk LW 24 AHL 3 2 1 3 0 4 50% | 34 10 7 17 8 50 20%
Parker Kelly C/RW 20 AHL 3 1 0 1 2 4 25% | 39 7 4 11 10 43 16%
Rudolfs Balcers LW 22 AHL 3 2 0 2 2 6 33% | 23 10 17 27 10 50 20%
NHL - - - - - - - | 7 0 1 1 0 8 0%
Vitaly Abramov RW/LW 21 AHL 3 0 0 0 0 4 0% | 33 15 13 28 18 86 17%
NHL - - - - - - - | 2 1 0 1 2 3 33%
Andreas Englund LD 24 AHL 3 0 0 0 5 1 0% | 17 0 0 0 24 16 0%
NHL - - - - - - - | 12 0 2 2 12 5 0%
Christian Jaros RD 23 AHL 3 0 1 1 0 3 0% | 27 1 11 12 4 33 3%
NHL - - - - - - - | 6 0 2 2 4 2 0%
Maxime Lajoie LD 22 AHL 2 0 1 1 0 3 0% | 32 2 1 9 22 50 4%
NHL - - - - - - - | 6 0 0 0 0 3 0%
Filip Chlapik C 22 NHL 1 0 0 0 0 1 0% | 24 2 3 5 10 22 9%
AHL 3 1 1 2 7 9 11% | 24 5 9 14 29 52 10%
Jean-Christophe Beaudin C/RW 22 NHL - - - - - - - | 22 0 1 1 7 18 0%
AHL - - - - - - - | 11 2 2 4 0 16 13%
Logan Brown C 21 NHL - - - - - - - | 23 1 7 8 4 23 4%
AHL 3 1 3 4 2 8 13% | 19 5 20 25 24 44 11%
Erik Brännström LD 20 NHL - - - - - - - | 31 0 4 4 16 38 0%
AHL 3 0 2 2 2 5 0% | 16 1 13 14 18 23 4%

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%

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%

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%

Goaltenders

- - - - - 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 28 2 92.9% | 18 11 5 2 0 519 55 89.4%
Joey Daccord 23 Belleville Senators AHL 2 1 1 61 4 93.4% | 13 9 3 2 1 434 36 91.7%
Brampton Beast ECHL - - - - - - - - | 12 7 5 0 0 342 34 90.1%
Marcus Högberg 25 Belleville Senators AHL - - - - - - - - | 15 7 6 0 0 408 42 89.7%
Ottawa Senators NHL 1 1 53 3 94.3% | 12 2 2 5 2 377 33 91.2%
Kevin Mandolese 19 Cape Breton Eagles QMJHL - - - - - - - #VALUE! | 26 17 6 1 0 726 57 92.1%
Mads Søgaard 19 Medicine Hat Tigers WHL 2 1 1 27 4 85.2% | 28 15 10 1 1 744 75 89.9%