8. Logan Brown (Reader Rank: 11, Last Year: 6)
If there is one thing everyone seems to be able to agree on with Logan Brown, it’s that there’s more potential than what he’s shown so far since joining the Ottawa Senators. Brown has been an interesting case for the Sens and it seems that every season could be his year, but by the end everyone is left feeling vaguely disappointed.
While we haven’t yet had a long look at Brown’s NHL potential, he could end up being one of the biggest beneficiaries of the team’s youth-first approach. Looking at the center position, the options aren’t great for the top two lines. Chris Tierney may be the number 1 center to start off the season, and I think Colin White may surprise a few people this season but that leaves two more spots. At this stage, Logan Brown’s spot should be his to lose; but the issue is that nobody would be surprised if he was beaten to it by say Josh Norris.
I’ve been a bit harsh on Brown in the past, and while we can blame some of his slow progression on injuries, there is no denying there’s been a lack of consistency. The former first round pick has talent, there is no question about that, but is he top-6 caliber talent? He may only have a few chances left to prove that.
The other factor that had people question his commitment to the team was the brouhaha between the organization and his agent when he was sent down last year.
Logan Brown’s agent @Andy_Scott15 on his client’s demotion: “We have never seen an early first round selection met with such resistance by the club which drafted them.”— Eric Macramalla (@EricOnSportsLaw) October 3, 2019
One cannot blame Brown or his agent for being frustrated but we also need to see more from him. After a strong first AHL season where he netted 42 points in 56 games, his performance took a dip when he was given a chance with the NHL club. He did notch 28 points in the 25 games played with the Belleville Senators last season but his time in Ottawa was again another story. In 23 games, he notched only had 8 points including only 1 goal. It was a nice goal, but it was only one and a lot of the time he just looked a bit lost and couldn’t keep up with the play. His average ice on time was 11:45 which isn’t great but in a season where he had every chance to move up, he didn’t seem to do much to impress DJ Smith into giving him more minutes. He was most successful in Belleville when he and Drake Batherson got going together, so maybe reuniting with Batherson in the NHL could be Brown’s saving grace. If he can score more PP goals like this one, I can see that ice time moving up real quickly.
The Senators had high hopes for Logan Brown on potentially becoming the next Jason Spezza and to an extent that was never fair. Brown turns 23 this season, far from a lost cause but is also threading on thin ice to his time here with the plethora of talent in the system. If the rankings are any indication, it seems the fans are also slowly losing patience with Brown but he has some NHL experience under his belt and a whole lot of AHL experience so maybe the stars will finally align for the youngster and he can finally claim his spot in Ottawa. If not, I hear Seattle is a really nice place.
Is it just his skating? His intensity? Does he just need more time? There are a lot of unanswered questions with Brown but we’d all do well to remember the talent that got him drafted 11th overall in the first place. So I’ll leave you with a highlight video that really underlines the challenge facing Brown this year: he’s shown he’s got the skill to dominate the AHL, can it translate to the NHL?