The Sens have a number of prospects playing in the NCAA this season, and there are a couple undrafted NCAA players the team should definitely think about adding this year, even if only to buttress Belleville in 2020-21 when a lot of the hot young prospects move up to the big club. Here is a list (in no particular order) of players the Sens should sign after the NCAA season ends.
Jacob Bernard Docker (UND - Drafted 26th Overall)
JBD wasn't exactly a dominant force at the WJHC this year, but he is having a solid season at UND and the team should seriously consider signing him at the end of this season. Belleville has a definite need on the blueline, and that situation is only going to get worse as players like Wolanin and Brannstrom end up in the NHL on a more permanent basis. I think the Sens would be well served to bring JBD and Thomson over next season to Belleville and let them learn more of the pro game so we can start that Unparalled Success I keep hearing about sooner rather than later.
Shane Pinto (UND - Drafted 32nd Overall)
Count me among the people who hated the Pinto pick last June and love it now. Pinto has been great at UND as a freshman and was one of the best players for the US at the WJHC. Watching him play, he really seems like he could be a legitimate piece of the team somewhere down the line. While another year in the NCAA could let him really dominate at that level, with probably all of Norris, Brown and Chlapik deserving a shot in the NHL next year, Pinto could slide into the Top-6 in Belleville. The experience with Norris this year shows how quickly a young player can adapt to the pro game, and I think Pinto deserves a shot to do the same thing next year.
Jakov Novak (Bentley - Drafted 188th Overall)
Novak is an interesting case, because there is a good argument to be made to leave him in the NCAA for another year or two. He is coming into his own as a forward at that level, and gaining more confidence there would be a good thing. With that in mind, leaving him unsigned this year and watching him have another even better season next year, could take them to a scenario where he walks away from the team that drafted him to play wherever he likes in 2022.
Christopher Wilkie (Colorado College - Drafted 162nd Overall)
Of all the players here, I would put Wilkie as the most likely to sign a deal after his college season is up. He is having a great senior year at Colorado, and the Sens have to sign him now or risk him walking for nothing. The fact that the Sens went out and traded for his rights in the last year of team control, sends a strong signal to Wilkie and the fans that the team wants him, and hopefully that encourages him to sign as soon as he can.
Jordan Kawaguchi (UND - Undrafted)
The Senators love North Dakota, and it's not hard to see why, as the team is currently ranked number 2 in the NCAA. Kawaguchi has been instrumental to that team's success and would be a great pickup for whatever team he chooses. The Sens aren't a lock to get a player like him, but his offensive skillset, especially on the powerplay would benefit the team greatly. The team could sell Kawaguchi on the opportunity to get top minutes right away, and hopefully the familiarity with Sens prospects like JBD, Tychonick and Pinto convince him to come to Ottawa.
Matt Kiersted (UND - Undrafted)
Another UND defenceman that the Sens should definitely target. Kiersted QBs a very good UND powerplay unit that also features Pinto and Kawaguchi. The Sens are abysmal on the powerplay, and while I think the players we already have will improve it as they get older, picking up another good powerplay piece will definitely help. Kiersted is probably going to pick a team that has a more immediate opportunity on their NHL blueline for him to compete for, but if the Sens could convince him to join the system, he is an immediate Top-2 defenceman in the AHL.
Alex Limoges (Penn State - Undrafted)
This is the only undrafted player on this list that I have seen play in person and he is REALLY good. He's a big body, has a good offensive toolbox, and could be a good NHL player down the road. Solidifying centre depth in the AHL next season with a player like Limoges would be a coup for the Sens.
Marc Michaelis (Minnesota State - Undrafted)
Michaelis is the oldest in this group, and definitely a player the Sens should take a run at. He is a senior and going to draw significant interest at the end of this season. He scores well and he has a ton of international experience playing for the German national team. If the Sens end up drafting Stutzle at the top of the draft, it might make him feel more comfortable coming over to North America if the team already has a German speaking player on the roster.