Ottawa Senators Prospect Update: Belleville Gearing Up for a Playoff Run

Josh Norris, Maxence Guénette and Filip Gustavsson are this week’s biggest standouts.

It was a quiet week in the land of Sens prospects… said no one ever. There’s always lots going on — players scoring, players not scoring, and lots of movement, especially in this past week between Ottawa and Belleville. With the NHL on their week-long break for the All-Star festivities, the trio of Rudolfs Balcers, Filip Chlapik and Drake Batherson were all assigned to the AHL, as the B-Sens gear up to make a solid run in the playoffs.

But first, let’s look at this week’s biggest standouts, starting with one of Belleville’s key players.

Biggest Standouts

Josh Norris

Josh Norris can’t stop scoring. His eight-game point streak came to an end this week, but it was only a small blip, as he was instrumental in yesterday’s 3-0 win, scoring his 22nd goal of the season and adding an assist. He leads all AHL rookies in scoring, and is now fifth in the entire league in points. Only three other rookies have finished top five in scoring in the last decade: Cory Conacher (2011-12), Mason Appleton (2017-18) and Daniel Sprong (2017-18).

Norris has been just one of the many key offensive players that have developed chemistry together in Belleville. Check out this goal in which he acted as the finisher, with his teammates executing a super clean break-in and quickly getting the puck into a dangerous position.

With a team-leading 121 shots on goal, Norris has been Belleville’s lead trigger-man this season. His transition to pro hockey has gone significantly faster than expected, so it will be interesting to see how long it takes him to translate his skills to the NHL level.

Maxence Guénette

Whenever a player is picked in the seventh round of the NHL draft, the expectations are understandably pretty low. And while Maxence Guénette may not be lighting the world on fire, his recent stretch of play has been his best of the season. His four assists in two games vaults him into the top-ten in scoring amongst QMJHL defencemen.

In an interview with Le Droit, Guénette’s coach had the following to say about his work this season (translated):

“[Development camp in Ottawa] made him realize some things. He came back with an A-1 attitude, and a desire to improve every day. [...] His main strengths are his skating and pass execution. When he uses these skills, in the heat of the moment, he becomes a dangerous defenceman for us. He practically becomes a fourth attacker.”

Filip Gustavsson

With Marcus Högberg making waves in the NHL, Filip Gustavsson and Joey Daccord have been getting the opportunity to fend for themselves in front of Belleville’s shoddy defence. They’ve both been successful in their bid to avoid the ECHL once Anders Nilsson gets healthy, with Gustavsson being especially notable this week recording his first career AHL shutout. He only had to face 23 shots, one of Belleville’s lowest totals of the season, but it was an impressive performance nevertheless.

At 21 years old, Gustavsson is already proof of how versatile goalie prospects can be. He’s bounced between being a highly-regarded world-class goalie prospect to losing ground in the Sens’ depth chart, as he’s failed so far in his North American pro career to demonstrate any kind of consistency. Hopefully these last few solid starts are a sign of positive things to come.

Silver Linings

  • Current AHL standings: Belleville sits first in their division with 54 points, tied with Utica but with a game in hand. Rochester’s third with 48 points, while Toronto, Laval and Syracuse are following closely behind. The AHL playoff format admits the top four teams in the division, with no wild card spots. Belleville’s in a good position, but nothing is ever guaranteed.
  • Average time on ice this week for prospects in the NHL — 16:00 for Batherson, 11:07 for Chlapik, 9:34 for Balcers.
  • The last time we covered Parker Kelly, he heated up for one game before receding back into a perpetual struggle (one assist in nine games). Now he’s starting to find a bit of consistency, getting onto the scoresheet in his last five consecutive games.
  • I’m not entirely sure what’s up with Christian Jaros, but he missed all three of Belleville’s games this week with what I’m assuming is an injury. Nothing’s been reported, but he’s been taking a beating this year between Ottawa and Belleville, missing short periods of time.
  • A group of 2020 draft-eligible prospects were asked who is “the most difficult opponent they’ve faced”. Mark Kastelic received one vote.
  • Angus Crookshank barely missed the Biggest Standouts section, as he was no slouch with a two-goal game. The next contest marked the end of his seven-game point streak, during which he had six goals and two assists. He leads the University of New Hampshire with 87 shots on goal, averaging nearly four per game.
  • Fan voting for the Hobey Baker award, the most prestigious individual award in college hockey, has begun. Among the 78 nominees are Chris Wilkie (Colorado College) and Jakov Novak (Bentley University). The University of North Dakota nomination went to Jordan Kawaguchi./

Weekly Stats


Alex FormentonLW20AHL3011460%|432113344210819%
Drake BathersonRW21AHL31340813%|371432462411912%
Jonathan DavidssonRW22AHL------0%|1823561911%
Josh NorrisC20AHL1000000%|422218401212118%
Max VeronneauRW24AHL-------|33551023017%
Michael CarconeLW23AHL31012425%|4110919379211%
Morgan KlimchukLW24AHL32130450%|341071785020%
Parker KellyC/RW20AHL31012425%|397411104316%
Rudolfs BalcersLW22AHL32022633%|23101727105020%
Vitaly AbramovRW/LW21AHL3000040%|33151328188617%
Andreas EnglundLD24AHL3000510%|1700024160%
Christian JarosRD23AHL3011030%|27111124333%
Maxime LajoieLD22AHL2011030%|3221922504%
Filip ChlapikC22NHL1000010%|2423510229%
Jean-Christophe BeaudinC/RW22NHL-------|220117180%
Logan BrownC21NHL-------|231784234%
Erik BrännströmLD20NHL-------|3104416380%

Canadian Hockey League

Johnny GrudenLW19London KnightsOHL341501429%|442128492111219%
Maxence GuénetteRD18Val-d'Or ForeursQMJHL3022420%|4582230201008%
Mark KastelicC20Calgary HitmenWHL22352825%|392322455914316%


Angus CrookshankLW20Univ. of New Hampshire2000260%|2412416129313%
Chris WilkieRW23Colorado College20000190%|22178251312214%
Jakov NovakLW/C21Bentley Univ.2033250%|26141226397519%
Luke LoheitRW19Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth2101030%|2331461817%
Shane PintoC19Univ. of North Dakota2022210%|2311920276118%
Todd BurgessC/RW23RPI1000210%|2242614488%
Jacob Bernard-DockerRD19Univ. of North Dakota2000040%|22313168398%
Jonny TychonickLD19Univ. of North Dakota1101020%|18461061040%

European Leagues

Markus NurmiRW/LW21TPSLiiga31122520%|4391120229110%
Lassi ThomsonRD19IlvesLiiga2000060%|2764108907%
Viktor LodinC/LW20Örebro HKSHL-------|220442200%
HC Vita HästenAllsvenskan-------|1032522612%
Olle AlsingLD23Djurgårdens IFSHL2000010%|364162020557%


Filip Gustavsson21Belleville SenatorsAHL1128292.9%|18115205195589.4%
Joey Daccord23Belleville SenatorsAHL21161493.4%|1393214343691.7%
Brampton BeastECHL--------|1275003423490.1%
Marcus Högberg25Belleville SenatorsAHL--------|1576004084289.7%
Ottawa SenatorsNHL1153394.3%|1222523773391.2%
Kevin Mandolese19Cape Breton EaglesQMJHL-------#VALUE!|26176107265792.1%
Mads Søgaard19Medicine Hat TigersWHL21127485.2%|281510117447589.9%

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