Welcome to this Easter Monday edition of Links, News & Notes! Let’s dive right in with some surprising news from one of Ottawa’s top prospects.
- Following a successful sophomore campaign at the University of North Dakota, former 1st round pick Jacob Bernard-Docker decided that he’ll be returning to school for his junior year. With the NCAA season cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there seems to be some unfinished business with the UND crew who were poised for a shot at the championship. Fellow Sens/UND prospect Jonny Tychonick took the opposite route and applied for the transfer portal, but given that Bernard-Docker’s been put in a much larger role, his decision to go for it all is an exciting one, where he’ll still continue to develop. He’ll also have the opportunity to play with Jake Sanderson next season, a top defenceman available in the 2020 NHL Draft, as well as Shane Pinto for a second year.
“I just think the way the season ended didn’t sit well with most of us. [...] For me, personally, I think I have more to accomplish in college. With the guys we have coming back, it’s pretty exciting.”
- Lastly on JBD, this opens up the chance that he could stay for his senior college year and then sign elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent, but it appears the chance of that happening is next to zero. As he stated, “One more year [at North Dakota] is really going to set me up well to come into Ottawa”, so it appears his plan will be to turn pro in 2021-22.
- In case you missed it, the second bit of prospect-related news was Mark Kastelic signing an entry-level contract earlier this week.
- In what’s been a long, confusing and hard-to-discern saga, Nikita Zaitsev posted a statement on his Instagram page vaguely responding to an allegation that he had taken his children from his ex-wife. The Russian translation is difficult to discern, but he expressed his support for his children.
- The Silver Seven team sends our sincere condolences to the surrounding friends and family of Colby Cave, the former forward for Edmonton and Boston who tragically passed away this week after suffering from brain bleed. His hometown community is already showing their support, which is much-needed in these difficult times.
- The Ottawa Senators have hopped on board the livestreaming train, with Thomas Chabot and Brady Tkachuk playing video games over on their Twitch channel SensPlayLive earlier this week. Follow them to be notified when they go live next.
- And finally, LNN regular SensProspects has been coming in clutch during these quarantining hours, releasing season highlight packs for both Kevin Mandolese and Josh Norris. Check them out!