What a week for Sens prospects, especially for two players. Drake Batherson and Logan Brown are playing out of their minds, leading the Belleville Senators to a four-game winning streak. They beat divisional opponents Toronto and Laval twice each by a combined score of 22-14, putting them five points out of a playoff spot. It’s also the longest winning streak in the Belleville Sens’ short history.
Logan Brown & Drake Batherson
Considering these two were basically connected at the hip all week, it only makes sense that I rave about them together. In their four games this week, the two combined for twenty points, with Brown scoring two goals and seven assists, while Batherson racked up six goals and five assists, including his first professional hat trick.
Starting with Brown, the Toronto Marlies will fear him going forward, as he sunk them with two overtime winners during both matchups this week, once of which is for the highlight reel. He has now tied Belleville’s single-season record of four game-winning goals.
Brown is also on an eight game point streak, and showing no signs of slowing down. Troy Mann has been giving him every opportunity as the top line centre, and opposing teams haven’t been able to match up. And while the power play has often been looked at as Brown’s specialty, he’s shown he can branch out his skill to even strength, with only three of his nine points coming on the man-advantage.
Mitch Brown (not related to Logan) from The Athletic had a great piece on Brown this week ($), where he brought up some good points on how Brown has adjusted his playing style. He’s 6’6”, but he doesn’t play anything like you’d expect from someone his size. His top-end vision is what earned him the high first round selection in the first place, and it’s fantastic to see his skill start to translate.
As for Batherson, we’ve already praised him plenty in this neck of the woods, although he just seems to keep turning up the dial even further. He now has 44 points in 37 games on the season, despite going through a ten-game pointless drought. He also leads all AHL rookies in scoring, above players like Jordan Kyrou, Martin Necas and Filip Zadina, despite being called up to play 17 games in the NHL!
The kid is insane, and his insanity was rewarded by being named the AHL’s Player of the Week for the second time this season. He’s also on an eight-game point streak, naturally.
🚨 Holy smokes what a tic-tac-goal for Drake Batherson off some slick passing by Logan Brown and Filip Chlapik after Nick Paul won the PP draw. That's 1G, 2A for Batherson and 2A for Brown tonight. pic.twitter.com/4ow74GhyN8— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) February 6, 2019
Now the question shifts to the Ottawa Senators — should they call these two up, or leave them be in the AHL for the rest of the season? We’ve already seen Batherson play with the big club, although he’s earned himself another shot. Brown is in a slightly different scenario since his playing time may be limited by the Sens having more centre depth, with Pageau and Tierney healthy. But with the trade deadline less than two weeks away, things could change very quickly.
Belleville’s current playoff position is still unfavourable, sitting five points out of a playoff spot, with no games in hand on anyone in the division. They’d need to catch either Toronto or Utica who have 58 points, as the North division currently has the AHL’s highest cutoff for the playoffs.
What do you think? Should these two be given a chance together in the NHL? Or should they continue to help Belleville with their playoff quest?
did Brown and Batherson just become best friends? pic.twitter.com/ZSVNJyS8Jz— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) January 26, 2019
- Other Belleville prospects who dented the scoresheet this week: Aaron Luchuk with two goals and an assist, Adam Tambellini did the reverse with a goal and two assists, and Filip Chlapik and Nick Paul each scored three goals and two assists.
- One B-Sen who hasn’t fared so well is Morgan Klimchuk. He’s appeared in only eight games since being acquired a month ago, as it appears he’s out long-term with an injury.
- More injury news: Jack Rodewald was placed on the O-Sens’ injured reserve, with no timeline for a return. Andrew Sturtz was also hurt and is week-to-week with an upper-body injury, and Christian Wolanin is still out but only listed as day-to-day.
- Every so often I feel obligated to remind you that Patrick Sieloff is still playing, for who-knows-what reason. He’s on pace again for well over 100 penalty minutes.
- Alex Formenton is back, and riding in style with a goal and assist in his return for London. It marked two months since he played his last OHL game before the injury.
- Kevin Mandolese had a solid week, stopping 59 of 63 shots for Cape Breton in two starts.
- Jakov Novak and Bentley University must’ve committed hard to their New Year’s resolutions, as they haven’t seen a loss since December 30th 2018. They’ve gone 9-0-2 since, jumping up to second in their division./