Ottawa Senators Prospect Update: Gruden and Kastelic show off, Daccord steals the show

Your AHL All-Star update, a European prospect re-signed in Europe, and more in this week’s column

While Marcus Hogberg got a well-deserved rest during the NHL All-Star Break, most of the team’s prospects were back in action in the AHL, or continuing their seasons in the CHL, NCAA, and overseas.

Let’s get started with who stood out during the last week of action.

Biggest Standouts

Johnny Gruden

With four goals in two games this week, Gruden is up to 21 goals on the year for the London Knights and has upped his shot total dramatically in 2020. He’s got a slightly higher point-per-game total than Kastelic, despite being a year younger, and appears to be gaining more trust from Dale Hunter in defensive minutes as the year has gone on.

Mark Kastelic

Kastelic suited up for his 300th WHL game over the weekend, and continues to have a solid overage season with Calgary. It’s not to the calibre that I expect if he’s going to make the NHL, especially as he’s 20-years-old already, but he appears to have the toolkit to be a solid depth power centre at the AHL level, with a strong shot and faceoff ability that will garner the praise of coaches. He had five points in two games, and I expect him to try and ramp up his level of play to his pre-injury levels to try and make a strong case to be signed this offseason.

Joey Daccord

Fun fact: Joey Daccord’s save-percentage this year through 15 games is the same as Marcus Hogberg’s AHL performance last year — 0.917%. It has him ranked ninth in the league, and second among rookies after Tuscon’s (AZ) Ivan Prosvetov. Daccord increased his save percentage in the two starts he had this week, and wasn’t the reason why the team lost to the high-flying Milwaukee Admirals, as you can see from the highlight reel saves below:

Marcus Hogberg’s hot play in the NHL, D.J. Smith’s willingness to trust a rookie goaltender with games, and Troy Mann’s tandem format has served all of the team’s pro goalie prospects really well this year. If the playoffs started today, Joey Daccord would get the start in game one. That’s exciting.

Silver Linings

  • If you haven’t followed UND beat writer Brad Schlossman yet, do it now! He had a great article on UND’s revamped powerplay (they finished last in the NCHC last season at 14.2%), with Shane Pinto at the middle of it all. Pinto’s only got four powerplay points, but the threat of his right-handed one-timer from the left circle is enough of a threat that it opens up space for Jordan Kawaguchi, the team’s leading scorer, on the right side. Pinto was also featured in an article on the Sens official website. He’s fifth in shots-per-game among first-year players — just behind Philadelphia’s Bobby Brink.
  • Also in NCAA action: Jonny Tychonick scored a goal, Jakov Novak continued at his point-per-game pace with three assists, and Chris Wilkie had 19 shots in two games. Read that again.
  • Coming off of a disappointing year last season, Markus Nurmi has rebounded over in TPS, with his two points this week bringing his season totals up to a respectable 20 points in 43 games. As a European player drafted in 2017, Ottawa has until June 2020 to sign up or else forfeit his rights. This week, Nurmi was re-signed to a two-year contract with TPS, and while that doesn’t automatically mean that he’s going unsigned — many European pro contracts have NHL out-clauses; the Sens could sign and loan him to TPS — it doesn’t look likely that he’ll be given a contract at this point. From Google Translate (h/t to @sensprospects): /

“The moods are insanely good. I wanted to continue at TPS because I believe in this thing. I also want to play a big role in putting TPS back on the road to success”

  • Also in need of signing this June? Cape Breton’s Kevin Mandolese, owner of the second-best save percentage in the QMJHL (0.921%).
  • Sportsnet’s Sam Cosentino is one of the most connected in the business when it comes to CHL hockey. He sat down for a brief interview with Max Guénette, who’s having a strong year with Val D’Or and is targeting a World Juniors camp invite next season.
  • Davis Payne should look to copy this set-up if he’s still around to run the powerplay next year.../
  • Your AHL All-Star update: with Josh Norris ill and Drake Batherson in the NHL, Rudolfs Balcers and Alex Formenton represented the North Division-leading BSens. Formenton put up the third-fastest time in league history as he won the fastest skater event, and Balcers had a nifty breakaway goal in the on-ice competition. /

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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