We’re back. At Silver Seven, Colin and I will be updating you on Sens prospects on a weekly basis. We’ve modified our stats sheet, and will continue to surf the internet in hopes of bringing you the best prospect-related gifs, highlights, news, and updates for the second straight year.
As always, we can’t do this alone. We rely a ton on sites like EliteProspects, College Hockey Inc., Prospect Stats, Natural Stat Trick, Corsica, and each league’s statistics database to bring you the numbers. If you haven’t followed @SensProspects on Twitter, do so now, as their gifs and highlight packs make bringing you the best plays a lot easier. Lastly, @DzingelBells will be doing some manual tracking of Belleville Senators games this season, and we’ll look to feature some of his work here as the season goes on.
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A camp invitee last season after the Senators weren’t able to grab an extra seventh rounder to draft him in 2017, Kelly’s taken on a leadership role with the Prince Albert Raiders, and has gotten off to a fast start this season.
The team’s only CHL skater (!), Kelly’s 10 points in 8 games ranks him 12th among WHL point scorers, and his 3.4 shots per game is an improvement on his 3.13 a season prior.
Kelly will see minutes in all situations, playing on the Raiders top PP unit while anchoring a penalty kill squad. With Formenton and Batherson already players out of the 2017 Draft, Kelly would add a CHL trifecta if he turns out. Named one of the hardest workers of Sens Development Camp (along with Brady Tkachuk), Kelly’s expected to turn pro after this season.
Parker Kelly (#27) had 1G & 1A in a 4-1 win 🚨🍎— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) October 2, 2018
Kelly's points were part of a team record for WHL Prince Albert. They scored 3 goals in just 16 seconds. pic.twitter.com/2q4npi6Anc
Two games, two starts, two shutouts for Joey Daccord. Entering his third season with Arizona State, the independent Sun Devils have put together a stronger team in front of Daccord, and will look to surprise some more teams this season.
Daccord’s full toolkit was on display last weekend, as he continues to make his mark as the best puckhandling goaltender in the Sens system, and quite possibly, the best they’ve ever had:
1st star ⭐️— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) October 7, 2018
2nd NCAA shutout 🚫
3rd career assist 🍎
Joey Daccord had a huge game to kick off ASU's season. pic.twitter.com/DsjDuDmPzx
Colin and I are big fans of Daccord, and we expect to feature him here quite a bit this season. The Sens haven’t made any indication on whether or when they’ll sign Daccord, but a big year could mean that he’ll turn pro after his junior season.
You all know about Lajoie by this point, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t feature him here after a 1G, 1A NHL debut, and a couple of fantastic defensive performances against the Leafs and Bruins.
I first got excited about Lajoie after reading a piece by our very own Callum Fraser a couple years ago, and hype continued to grow after the Sens signed him after his inaugural training camp, he was talked up by notoriously-tough head coach Guy Boucher last season, and turned pro despite being eligible to play another year in Swift Current (WHL).
He had a solid rookie season in the AHL, but found himself with poor teammates and third-pair minutes. Well, if he keeps playing like this, he may not have another bus ride in his career:
His instincts in the offensive zone have surprised me, as he’s mainly been known for his transitional prowess, so I don’t think we can continue to expect points to come. That being said, he’s been positive all over the ice, and was one of the only defenders to not get beat in yesterday’s 6-3 loss to the Bruins. He’s not as quick as a skater, but has clearly worked on it enough to look league-average at this level and more importantly, he has the brain to keep up with some of the faster teams in the league.
I’ll be following him closely, and expect there to be competition for his spot from the likes of Ben Harpur and Christian Wolanin.
- The team’s two other CHL prospects are both goaltenders: Kevin Mandolese (QMJHL), and Jordan Hollett (WHL). Mandolese put together this sequence of saves for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, and looks to be in-tough as the team’s starter with a squad that may be middling at best. Hollett, on the other hand, has a .912 save-percentage, and has either given up a boatload of goals, or has been lights out so far. He was featured on the WHL’s Saves of the Week, and recently picked up his third career WHL shutout.
- The Belleville Senators played their season opener against Utica, but came out with a loss. It wasn’t from a lack of trying, though, as the team played really well at 5-on-5. Gabriel Gagné had 8 (!) shots on goal, while the Paul - Brown - Batherson line continued to get top minutes. Batherson’s the shooter on that line, and looked very much his QMJHL self as he tried to dipsy-doodle a couple of defenders to generate high quality scoring chances. The gang over at @SensCentral recorded a pre-season podcast that includes a quality interview with Batherson if you get a chance to listen.
- Many of the organization’s collegiate prospects aren’t in action until this week, but it looks like the NCAA is where the quality will be this season. Six of the team’s eight prospects made The Hockey News’ top-75 NCAA players to watch, and first-rounder Jacob Bernard-Docker was named to College Hockey News’ rookie team.
- North Dakota has played a couple of pre-season matchups, and both Sens draft picks have been in the lineup, with Bernard-Docker seeing some right-side action on the first-pair while Jonny Tychonick featured on the team’s third-pair.
- Freshman Jon Gruden has two points in his first two collegiate games with the UMiami (Ohio) Redhawks — Chris Wideman’s former stomping ground. Gruden is a player who I’ve seen mixed reports on, with some questioning his offensive upside. A big freshman year in Miami will go a long way in redeeming the Senators taking him with a fourth round pick.
- Josh Norris registered a point and six shots on net in his first game with Michigan, and looks to have improved on his skating. He also made this move in an exhibition contest. With Michigan losing three of their top four scorers from last season, Norris is expected to eat up some top-six minutes, while playing a central role on the team’s powerplay and penalty kill as a sophomore. /
Josh Norris (#14) had 1A in Michigan's first game of the NCAA season, a 5-2 loss to Vermont 🍎— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) October 7, 2018
Norris dominated in the circle, going 17/23 on faceoffs, and had a couple A+ scoring chances on 6 shots. pic.twitter.com/e3lz4OiYLM