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Ottawa Senators Prospect Update - March 15th

A brand-new captain is off to a good start in his brand-new leadership role.

Vancouver Giants at Kelowna Rockets Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

No matter how dreadful things are going with the big club, we can always count on the Ottawa Senators prospect pool for at least a couple of bright spots in a pinch. And this week, there were many.

Forwards

Zack Ostapchuk

Ostapchuk has been on the upswing ever since he stepped into the role as captain of the WHL’s Vancouver Giants. In three games this week, the 2021 second-rounder contributed 2 goals and 2 assists, and now has 34 points in 48 games. He’ll have to continue on his recent pace and continue to improve on his season total in order to make the selection worth it, but a significant moment in his career could be just what the doctor ordered.

Mark Kastelic

Among a strong week for Kastelic was a 2-point night in a 4-1 victory on Wednesday against the Providence Bruins, which included a goal created by his willingness to crash the net and find a loose puck.

19 points in 45 games with Belleville doesn’t indicate a high offensive ceiling, but the 2019 fifth-round pick could be very close to panning out as a successful and cost-effective fourth-liner in the NHL, perhaps as early as next season. Though it’s hard to say whether or not he’ll get another stint with Ottawa this season, I’m of the opinion they could use him right now for the sake of winning games, especially for his 64.62% success rate in the faceoff dot through 9 NHL contests so far.

Egor Sokolov

Sokolov enjoyed a fair bit of success as a playmaker this week, with 3 assists in 3 games, but all of that plays second-fiddle to this marker in a shootout against Manitoba on Friday:

In his second professional season, Sokolov has tallied 34 points in 42 AHL games, which is an improvement over last season, but considering what guys like Drake Batherson and Alex Formenton have done in the past, it might be an indicator that Sokolov’s long-term projection will top out as a third-line forward at the NHL level, and the team might need him to be more than that at some point, depending on the development of their other young players. The best the team can do right now is to continue to give him as much AHL seasoning as they can, and give him an opportunity to surprise next season, without banking on that possibility.

Defensemen

Jake Sanderson

I suppose Sanderson’s return has been passable — 2 points in 2 games isn’t too bad for a defensive prospect whose biggest strength above all else is his creativity in the offensive zone. Hang on...I might not be remembering that correctly. Wasn’t he actually known for being a thoroughly efficient two-way player with a limited offensive toolkit as his only flaw? So what’s the deal here?

It looks like we’ve got a complete player on our hands here. It should be no surprise given he was a projected Top-10 pick in one of the most hyped-up NHL drafts in recent history. And the Senators won’t need to rely on him to be “the guy” right away, either. Just a competent NHL defenseman will make a huge difference.

Lassi Thomson

After going pointless in 7 consecutive games, Ottawa’s first-rounder from 2019 is up and running again, with 3 points in 2 games, and is up to 19 points in 29 AHL games.

Thomson was widely considered to be yet another one of Ottawa’s trademark selections, in which they took a player too high. However, he was the best right-handed blueliner available, and that level of production in his third season after the draft gives us a glimpse of a potential second-pairing defenseman. Either him or Jacob Bernard-Docker should take part in each of Ottawa’s games after the trade deadline, if not sooner. I understand the necessity to keep them in the AHL, but at some point, the exorbitant amount of losing going on in the nation’s capital will turn them into the new Buffalo Sabres. Let the best players play.

Goaltending

Leevi Meriläinen

Kingston’s starting goalie continues to be just good enough to help the team continue their winning ways. Be it a .929 save percentage or a 0.895, he’s more often than not making the stops the team needs from him. It’s hard to say whether he’ll be ready for a backup role in the AHL next season, as his overall .889 save percentage doesn’t scream “future NHL goalie”. The good news is that he’s playing on a team that’s giving him plenty of support, which should hopefully allow them to go deep in the playoffs, and give Meriläinen ample opportunity to fine-tune his game.

Silver Linings

  • In three games, forward Ridly Greig had a goal, two assists, 8 penalty minutes, and 8 shots on goal. In other words, he was fine.
  • After a strong stretch of games last week, forward Viktor Lodin added three points in four games this week, bringing the 2019 fourth-rounder up to 26 points in 42 SHL games.
  • 2021 seventh-rounder Chandler Romeo had his first career two-point night, with a pair of assists against London on Wednesday. The left-handed defenseman now has 15 points in 50 games between the Sarnia Sting and the Hamilton Bulldogs.
  • A couple of 2018 draftees had good performances in their respective college teams — seventh-rounder Jakov Novak had a two-assist game for Northeastern University in a 3-2 victory against Boston College, while second-rounder Jonny Tychonick had a goal and assist in Omaha’s 5-4 loss to Western Michigan on Saturday.

Stats

Pro (NHL, AHL)

- - - - Since the last prospect update - | - T O T A L -
- - - - Since the last prospect update - | - T O T A L -
PLAYER POS AGE LEAGUE GP G A P PIM SOG SH% | GP G A P PIM SOG SH%
Jacob Bernard-Docker RD 21 AHL 3 0 0 0 0 4 0% | 36 2 3 5 18 32 6%
Jacob Bernard-Docker RD 21 NHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 8 0 1 1 4 6 0%
Erik Brännström LD 22 AHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 9 1 2 3 10 21 5%
Erik Brännström LD 22 NHL 4 0 0 0 6 3 0% | 26 0 5 5 22 36 0%
Philippe Daoust C 20 AHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 15 0 5 5 4 13 0%
Maxence Guénette RD 20 AHL 3 0 1 1 0 1 0% | 36 3 11 14 4 42 7%
Parker Kelly C 22 NHL 4 1 0 1 19 5 20% | 26 5 1 6 37 28 18%
Parker Kelly C 22 AHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 24 3 7 10 26 48 6%
Shane Pinto C 21 NHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 5 0 1 1 2 5 0%
Jonathan Aspirot LD 22 AHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 26 1 11 12 28 39 3%
Angus Crookshank LW/C 22 AHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Roby Järventie C/LW 19 AHL 3 1 0 1 10 5 20% | 48 9 17 26 34 106 8%
Mark Kastelic C/RW 23 NHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 9 0 1 1 2 1 0%
Mark Kastelic C/RW 23 AHL 3 2 1 3 6 4 50% | 45 11 8 19 63 86 13%
Cole Reinhardt LW 22 AHL 3 1 1 2 6 6 17% | 49 10 12 22 50 90 11%
Egor Sokolov RW/LW 21 AHL 3 0 3 3 2 7 0% | 42 14 20 34 18 112 13%
Egor Sokolov RW/LW 21 NHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 8 0 0 0 4 8 0%
Lassi Thomson RD 21 AHL 2 1 2 3 0 6 17% | 29 7 12 19 48 59 12%
Lassi Thomson RD 21 NHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 16 0 5 5 2 18 0%

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%
Tyler Boucher RW 19 Boston University 0 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 17 2 1 3 34 21 10%
Tyler Kleven LD 20 Univ. of North Dakota 2 1 0 1 17 4 25% | 37 7 3 10 93 80 9%
Luke Loheit RW 21 Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth 2 0 0 0 0 2 0% | 30 2 4 6 34 44 5%
Jakov Novak LW/C 23 Northeastern Univ. 1 0 2 2 4 3 0% | 37 8 9 17 28 64 13%
Jake Sanderson LD 19 Univ. of North Dakota 2 1 1 2 0 5 20% | 23 8 18 26 6 66 12%
Jonny Tychonick LD 22 Univ. of Omaha 2 1 1 2 2 2 50% | 24 2 6 8 19 33 6%

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%
Tyler Boucher RW 19 Ottawa OHL 2 0 0 0 0 10 0% | 12 3 3 6 8 32 9%
Ridly Greig C/LW 19 Brandon WHL 2 1 2 3 8 8 13% | 39 26 37 63 92 180 14%
Carson Latimer RW 19 Edmonton/Prince Albert WHL 3 0 1 1 2 8 0% | 49 13 20 33 20 116 11%
Zach Ostapchuk C 18 Vancouver WHL 3 2 2 4 2 13 15% | 48 18 16 34 47 149 12%
Ben Roger RD 19 London/Kingston OHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 45 1 8 9 37 57 2%
Chandler Romeo LD 18 Hamilton/Sarnia OHL 3 0 2 2 6 2 0% | 50 1 14 15 84 67 1%
Philippe Daoust C 20 Saint John QMJHL 3 1 1 2 0 5 20% | 17 11 11 22 2 38 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%
Vitaly Abramov LW/RW 23 Chelyabinsk/Moscow KHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 45 8 9 17 28 66 12%
Vitaly Abramov LW/RW 23 Moscow KHL (playoffs) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 4 1 1 2 0 2 50%
Olle Alsing LD 25 Nur-Sultan KHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 43 2 8 10 14 69 3%
Olle Alsing LD 25 Nur-Sultan KHL (playoffs) 1 0 1 1 0 2 0% | 5 0 1 1 0 9 0%
Eric Engstrand LW 21 Malmö SHL 2 0 0 0 0 2 0% | 37 6 3 9 2 28 21%
Eric Engstrand LW 21 Troja/Ljungby IF Allsvenskan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 14 1 3 4 27 26 4%
Oliver Johansson C/LW 18 Timrå IK J20 Nationell 1 1 0 1 2 - 33% | 31 16 21 37 12 78 21%
Oliver Johansson C/LW 18 Timrå IK SHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0% | 14 0 0 0 0 16 0%
Viktor Lodin C/LW 22 Timrå IK SHL 4 1 2 3 2 16 6% | 42 11 15 26 45 104 11%

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 23 Belleville AHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0% | 10 4 3 1 1 241 23 90.5%
Filip Gustavsson 23 Ottawa NHL 1 0 1 0 0 14 4 71.4% | 14 3 10 1 0 446 49 89.0%
Kevin Mandolese 21 Belleville AHL 1 0 0 0 0 20 1 95.0% | 17 9 5 0 0 463 46 90.1%
Kevin Mandolese 21 Atlanta ECHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0% | 6 1 4 1 0 191 16 91.7%
Leevi Meriläinen 19 Kingston OHL 2 2 0 0 0 66 6 90.9% | 44 26 14 2 0 1314 146 88.9%
Mads Søgaard 21 Belleville AHL 3 2 1 0 0 78 8 89.7% | 26 13 12 0 0 702 70 90.0%