#4: Colin White, (Reader Rank: 3, Last Year: 3)
A lot is made of the centre position in the NHL, with many regarding it as more important than the winger spots. If that is indeed the case, then it is vital for teams to have top-tier players up the middle.
After his first full pro season, Colin White is leading many to believe that he can be that type of player for the Ottawa Senators. The organization appears inclined to agree, as they inked White to a six-year extension, worth an AAV of $4.75M.
Trust me, gang, this contract’s going to end up being a bargain.
Selected 21st overall by Ottawa in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, many have wondered when it would be that Colin White established himself as a bonafide NHL forward. He carried a buzz with him coming into the organization, after a dominant career at Boston College, and with the U.S. national program.
After his first two seasons saw him bounce between Binghamton/Belleville and Ottawa, the Boston native was rewarded with a full-time job with the big club. Playing mainly on a line with Brady Tkachuk and Mark Stone, White announced his arrival.
He posted 14G and 27A for 41 points in 77 games with Ottawa. His line with Tkachuk and Stone were often Ottawa’s best, and this was reflected in his possession metrics. Of those who still remain with the Senators, White boasted a CF% of 47.73, second only to Thomas Chabot and Brady himself. Though above 50% is ideal, it’s understandable when one considers that Ottawa was the worst possession team in the league. Give those guys a supporting cast, and watch the fireworks.
While this is indicative of White’s development as a two-way player, he showed flashes of top-six offensive prowess as well. He looked more confident this season, and it paid off with some beautiful plays like this one:
2020 will be an important year for White, as the Senators have a newfound depth at the centre position. J.G. Pageau, Chris Tierney, Artem Anisimov, and Logan Brown will all be vying for ice time, with youngsters like Filip Chlapik and Josh Norris not far behind. While I struggle to see White anywhere outside the top-six, he certainly can’t rest on his laurels going into this season.
He dropped down a spot this year, but like many others on this list, through no fault of his own. Ottawa’s current prospect situation is the envy of the league, and it was hard to limit entries to 25.
With a few more appearances on our list to come, expect Colin White to only go up from here.