Ottawa Senators Prospect Awards 2022 - MVP

It couldn’t be anyone other than the fifth-overall pick.

Despite the number of strong performances across the Ottawa Senators’ prospect pool, the choice for Most Valuable was a clear one. Jake Sanderson, the recipient of the Best Defender award, had an offensive season worthy of a Top-5 pick.

His sophomore season saw him lead the North Dakota Fighting Hawks with 1.13 points per game, a total he reached in spite of the team losing several stars from last season, including Jordan Kawaguchi, Collin Adams, and fellow Sens prospect Shane Pinto.

Ridly Greig, the 28th overall pick of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, also had a strong campaign. Despite only a small increase in points-per-game, from 1.52 to 1.62 across two seasons, he significantly improved as a volume shooter and goal-scorer, with 26 goals and 180 shots in 39 games, compared to 10 and 83 in 21 last season, respectively. He unfortunately suffered an injury late in the season, and upon returning to action, only put up three points in six playoff games, as the Brandon Wheat Kings lost in the first round to the Red Deer Rebels.

Erik Brannstrom finished third in the voting, which isn’t surprising given his value as a first-round pick from 2017. The left-shot defensemen had 14 assists in 52 games with Ottawa this year while posting a 51.37% shot attempt share at 5-on-5 with Artem Zub.

Finishing fourth is an impressive feat for Parker Kelly, who joined the Sens back in 2017 as an undrafted prospect. With 7 goals and 5 assists in 41 games, he should be a permanent fixture on the fourth line for Ottawa next season, hopefully alongside 2019 5th-rounder Mark Kastelic, who had a decent first handful of NHL games in his own right.

Rounding out the Top-5 is Egor Sokolov. An instant fan favourite upon being selected 60th overall in 2020, he has continued to be a strong contributor in Belleville, with 50 points in 64 games, and going into his third year with the club, a scoring pace of at least a point-per-game should be a realistic goal.

With that, our Prospect Awards have come to a close! A huge thanks to everyone who voted, and we’ve got tons of upcoming prospect coverage with the 2022 NHL Entry Draft this week, and the Top 25 Under 25 taking place later in the summer. Meanwhile, let us know in the comments if you have any suggestions for categories in next year’s prospect awards. Thanks for reading!

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