After what we should all consider a successful rookie showcase (a win is a win against the Habs after all), NHL camp starts today in Ottawa with off-ice workouts before getting back on the ice tomorrow. We didn’t have any action on the ice yesterday so for today let’s do a literature review to get you up to date before skating resumes.
- The Senators made their official training camp roster announcement yesterday of six goaltenders, 18 defenders, and 30 forwards. Among goalies, keep an eye on Kevin Madolese, the most likely to head to ECHL Atlanta barring any major developments at camp. And as Spencer pointed out, we have a couple names we haven’t seen before on the initial roster:
Only "surprise" names are Tyrell Goulbourne and Zac Leslie. Both AHL veterans, Golbourne a winger and Leslie a left shot defender. Leslie has 295 AHL games under his belt and notably is from Ottawa originally.— Spencer Blake (@spencerdjblake) September 21, 2021
Crookshank listed with an "injured" tag. #Sens https://t.co/Z984VBjRb0
- Like most of you, I’ll have my eyes on Logan Brown who we all hope has a healthy camp because the Sens don’t have options left in terms of AHL assignments. A spot on the centre depth remains his to lost but players like Ridly Greig and Mark Kastelic will try to keep it interesting.
- Thanks to Murray Pam, we know how the staff will divide the 54 players into three groups (although I wonder if another winger moves over to group one to replace Angus Crookshank):
- Wrapping up the rookie showcase, Belleville head coach Troy Mann had plenty of insight to offer, praising the play of forwards Egor Sokolov, Zack Ostapchuk, and Kastelic; defenders Lassi Thomson and Max Geunette; and offering some injury news as we now know Crookshank remains sidelined indefinitely and Philippe Daoust will return to the ice tomorrow after a day off.
- For more on Mann’s thoughts, check out this article from Wayne Scanlan and this article from Matt Tidcombe (focusing on Thomson’s offensive-defensive development under Mann’s tutelage). It’s music to my ears hearing Mann refer to Guenette as the best defender of the rookie showcase and a major relief knowing Daoust won’t miss any time after an injury shortened season last year. Both flew under the radar in the QMJHL last season and will surprise some fans in Ottawa.
- Obvious omissions from the official camp roster include Ottawa’s six NCAA prospects who cannot report due to their collegiate commitments, five players who will spend the season in Europe (Vitaly Abramov, Olle Alsing, Eric Engstrand, Oliver Johansson, and Viktor Lodin), and most notably Brady Tkachuk who remains unsigned. Beyond the obvious intrigue of the NHL roster, the depth of this group has me cautiously optimistic for another big season from the Belleville Senators who will have plenty of fresh new blood in the lineup.