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Ottawa Senators Prospect Update - January 12th

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Unsurprisingly, the young German leads the way in the first prospect update of the season!

Germany v Canada: Preliminary Round Group A - 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

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!

Forwards

Tim Stuetzle

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.

Shane Pinto

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.

Philippe Daoust

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.

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.

Defensemen

Tyler Kleven

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!

Christian Wolanin

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:

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.

Goaltender

Leevi Meriläinen

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.

Silver Linings

  • 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:
  • 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.

Stats

CHL

- - - - - - 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%
Maxence Guénette RD 19 Val-d'Or QMJHL 15 5 11 16 6 38 13% | 15 5 11 16 6 38 13%
Ridly Greig C/LW 18 Brandon WHL - - - - - - - | - - - - - - -%
Philippe Daoust C 19 Moncton QMJHL 13 4 9 13 12 29 14% | 13 4 9 13 12 29 14%

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 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%

Europe

- - - - - - 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%
Lassi Thomson RD 20 Ilves Liiga 16 0 2 2 4 34 0% | 16 0 2 2 4 34 0%
Viktor Lodin C/LW 21 Timrå IK Allsvenskan 25 5 11 16 12 32 16% | 25 5 11 16 12 32 16%
Roby Järventie LW 18 Ilves Liiga 19 7 7 14 6 55 13% | 19 7 7 14 6 55 13%
Eric Engstrand LW/RW 20 Malmö SHL 27 1 1 2 4 21 4.8% | 27 1 1 2 4 21 4.8%
Vitaly Abramov LW/RW 22 Jukurit Liiga 8 5 2 7 2 51 10% | 8 5 2 7 2 51 10%
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 - -
Erik Brännström LD 21 Langnau NL 10 2 6 8 6 - - | 10 2 6 8 6 - -

WJC

- - - - - T O T A L -
- - - - - T O T A L -
PLAYER POS AGE TEAM GP G A P PIM SOG SH%
Tim Stuetzle LW/C 18 Germany 5 5 5 10 8 - -%
Roby Järventie LW 18 Finland 6 0 0 0 0 - -%
Jake Sanderson LD 18 USA 7 0 2 2 0 - -%
Tyler Kleven LD 19 USA 2 0 1 1 0 - -%

Goalies

- - - - - 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 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%