We’re only three days away from an actual Ottawa Senators hockey game, but there’s already been a ton of action involving the organization’s many prospects, be it in the European leagues, QMJHL, NCAA, or the World Juniors. And thus, we announced the return of our weekly prospect feature. With Colin and Ary turning their attention to the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the two of us (Shaan and Owen) will do our very best to fill their enormous shoes.
Each Tuesday, we’ll be naming the Ottawa Senators Prospect Team of the Week: 3 forwards, 2 defensemen, and a goaltender, along with honorable mentions and updated stats for every player in the Senators’ system. Let’s find out who’s featured this week!
Of course, we have to talk about Tim Stuetzle’s fantastic performance at the World Juniors this year. With 5 goals and 5 assists in 5 games, he earned the nod as the tournament’s top forward.
His hands, agility, and passing were all on display throughout Germany’s five games, but what tends to go unnoticed to some are his work ethic and leadership. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out Chief Amateur Scout Trent Mann’s thoughts on Stuetzle as both a skilled player and a role model.
Stuetzle appears poised to crack the Senators’ opening line-up out of camp, and there’s always the chance he adapts to the NHL game quickly enough to make an immediate impact. Should that happen, we’ll be writing about him a lot in this short season.
Maybe it’s just because we’re finally watching hockey for the first time in a long time, but we’ve really been enjoying Ottawa’s four prospects playing at the University of North Dakota this year. Leading the way is Shane Pinto, who needs no further introduction. The Fighting Hawks returned to action for a two-game series against Colorado College this past week, where he tallied two assists. Now up to 15 points in 12 games with UND, look for him to continue to lead the way offensively. If he can match or exceed Josh Norris’s 19 points in 17 games two years ago, that could be a good sign that big things are in store for Pinto.
Daoust was a definite candidate for a spot in the top 25 under 25 but ended up just missing out — maybe he’s a year away. That being said, with 13 points (4 goals) in 13 games, he’s starting to make a case to be included next year.
After scoring on Thursday night, Philippe Daoust extended his point streak to 4 games with a career-high 4 assists on Friday in a 7-6 OT win— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) October 31, 2020
Nice start to the season for Ottawa's first 6th round pick in the 2020 Draft pic.twitter.com/63UBVBV6yL
According to former Minnesota Wild scout Mark Seidel, Daoust spent a lot of time lower in Moncton’s lineup last year, which may have led to his production being lower than it would’ve been otherwise. Anyone who’s followed him closely will tell you he’s worked extremely hard to earn a job with a CHL team, as he spent the 2018-19 season in the NOJHL (Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League) and struggled until he got an invite to Moncton’s training camp. Keep an eye on him going forward.
Excuse me, did you just score a goal on your birthday after returning home with a gold medal in an international tournament? No, you didn’t? Then zip it and admire one of our very tall sons.
We hear your grievances about the players that the Senators didn’t select in the 2020 draft and we feel compelled to inform you that Kleven is on the same goals per game trajectory in the NCAA as our beloved Shane Pinto so watch your tone when you’re talking to us!
At 25-years-old, he’s hardly a prospect anymore — but as an overage draftee who faced major injury setbacks in his young career, Wolanin still has under 50 NHL games under his belt and still qualifies in my books for now. Besides, he put on an absolute clinic on Monday night scoring three goals during the Senators’ scrimmage. His third was an empty netter and this one came via the shootout but there’s no footage of the other goals and you still get a good idea of his skating and shooting in this clip:
Christian Wolanin with a goal in the 2nd period shootout. He also scored earlier but I was busy and missed it. It’s 4-3 White after 2 pic.twitter.com/XTIvqFn9s1— Brent Wallace (@tsn_wally) January 12, 2021
This is the year that Wolanin really needs to establish himself as a potential top-four NHL defender to secure his role long-term with the Senators and he could get a pretty decent audition on a pairing with newcomer Josh Brown based on how things have looked at camp.
Okay, maybe this one’s a copout because he’s the only Senators goaltending prospect seeing consequential action right now, but it bears mentioning that Leevi is second in his league in save percentage among goalies who have played at least fifteen games, at 92.3%. Oh, and he already has four shutouts in the books this season. While he missed the cut for the world juniors this season, he’s making a strong case for the Finnish national team next year. Leevi’s squad in Kärpät are also currently on pace to win their division so we can likely look forward to seeing him in the high stakes circumstances of playoff hockey.
- While Roby Jarventie had a quiet World Junior tournament, he’s still been one of the Senators’ best performers overall since the new “season” began. Through 19 games in the Liiga thus far, he’s scored 7 goals and 7 assists while putting 55 pucks on goal playing on Ilves’ third line. His 0.74 points per game pace are comparable to NHL players’ D+1 Liiga seasons such as Kasperi Kapanen (0.51), Roope Hintz (0.61), Joonas Donskoi (0.52), and Teuvo Teravainen (0.76).
- Over at the University of New Hampshire, 2018 fifth-rounder Angus Crookshank has tallied 3 goals and 1 assist in 8 games. What really stands out though is his proficiency as a volume shooter. In Sunday’s game against Boston College, he had 6 shots on goal, bringing his total up to 32 this season. He also found his way onto @SensProspect’s highlight reel, thanks to this assist against UConn:
Hoo boy, Angus Crookshank took the early lead for “assist of the year” on Saturday night, tying things up for UNH. They’d go on to win it in OT.— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) January 2, 2021
Crookshank has 2G, 1A in 5GP to kick off his third NCAA season. pic.twitter.com/xrzkMwrHuq
- We probably don’t talk enough about how Mads Søgaard went over to Denmark, played at the highest professional Danish level, and then left with the highest save percentage in the league among goaltenders with at least ten games played, at 94.1%. Also, he was playing in the Metal League where everything is Metal. Their championship trophy? The Metal Cup.
- Speaking of Senators who went over to Europe at the end of 2020, it seems good that Erik Brännstrom played in the Swiss professional league and left ranked top-five in defender scoring per game (three of the players above him are in their thirties). For logistical reasons, Brännstrom may once again start the season in Belleville, although it remains apparent to all that the young defender is ready to compete at the highest level.
|Angus Crookshank||LW||21||Univ. of New Hampshire||8||3||1||4||0||32||9%|||||8||3||1||4||0||32||9%|
|Jakov Novak||LW/C||22||Bentley Univ.||5||3||1||4||17||13||23%|||||5||3||1||4||17||13||23%|
|Luke Loheit||RW||20||Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth||13||2||1||3||23||13||15%|||||13||2||1||3||23||13||15%|
|Shane Pinto||C||20||Univ. of North Dakota||12||5||10||15||2||32||16%|||||12||5||10||15||2||32||16%|
|Todd Burgess||C/RW||24||Minnesota State Univ.||7||2||3||5||2||10||20%|||||7||2||3||5||2||10||20%|
|Jacob Bernard-Docker||RD||20||Univ. of North Dakota||12||1||4||5||10||18||6%|||||12||1||4||5||10||18||6%|
|Jonny Tychonick||LD||20||Univ. of Omaha||10||1||1||2||4||11||9%|||||10||1||1||2||4||11||9%|
|Jake Sanderson||LD||18||Univ. of North Dakota||5||1||2||3||2||9||11%|||||5||1||2||3||2||9||11%|
|Tyler Kleven||LD||19||Univ. of North Dakota||5||2||0||2||4||7||29%|||||5||2||0||2||4||7||29%|
|Viktor Lodin||C/LW||21||Timrå IK||Allsvenskan||25||5||11||16||12||32||16%|||||25||5||11||16||12||32||16%|
|Jonathan Davidsson||RW||23||Västerviks IK||Allsvenskan||10||1||3||4||8||25||4.0%|||||10||1||3||4||8||25||4.0%|
|Olle Alsing||LD||24||Graz 99ers||IceHL||13||0||5||5||2||-||-|||||13||0||5||5||2||-||-|
|Filip Chlapik||LW/C||23||HC Sparta Praha||Czech Extraliga||3||1||0||1||8||-||-|||||3||1||0||1||8||-||-|
|Rudolfs Balcers||LW/RW||23||Stavanger Oilers||GET-Ligaen||10||7||8||15||18||-||-|||||10||7||8||15||18||-||-|
|Filip Gustavsson||22||Södertälje SK||Allsvenskan||19||11||7||0||0||-||-||91.9%|||||19||11||7||0||0||-||-||91.9%|
|Mads Søgaard||20||Esbjerg||Metal Ligaen||7||-||-||-||-||-||-||94.1%|||||7||-||-||-||-||-||-||94.1%|
|Leevi Meriläinen||18||Kärpät U20||U20 SM-sarja||16||-||-||-||-||-||-||92.3%|||||16||-||-||-||-||-||-||92.3%|