Ottawa Senators Top 25 Under 25, #13: Alex Formenton

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13. Alex Formenton (Reader Rank: 10, Last Year: 10)

Though 2018-19 may not have been the year that he was expecting for himself, Alex Formenton still finds himself coming in at #13 on this year’s list.

The 47th overall pick played nine games with the Ottawa Senators to start this past season, making the team out of training camp for the second straight year. He missed time with a concussion suffered against the Philadelphia Flyers, but went on to score his first NHL goal against the Arizona Coyotes. This was ultimately his only point, and he was returned to the London Knights of the OHL for the remainder of the season in November.

Showcasing his already NHL-calibre speed, it was at the World Junior Selection camp, in an exhibition game against university players, that Formenton suffered a knee injury, causing him to miss significant time. Formenton was a lock for Team Canada at the time and missing the high profile tournament must have been difficult for the young speedster.

In case you needed a reminder of just what the speed looks like:

Despite the setback, the 20 year-old came back even stronger, and finished the OHL regular season with 34 points in 31 game. Impressive as that is coming off of an injury, it was in the playoffs that Formenton took off. In London’s run to Game 7 of the second round, he posted 18 points in 11 games, cementing his place as one of the world’s top junior players in the process.

His three-spot drop down the list makes sense, given that he missed a good portion of the season, but it’s safe to assume that Alex Formenton will be in the NHL conversation this season. He may just be the fastest player in Ottawa’s prospect pool, and his playmaking ability in London was evident.

With that in mind, the main reason for his return to junior was his inability to contribute on the NHL scoreboard. Formenton’s skating and offensive instincts had him in the right places, but he didn’t show off the finishing skills needed to beat goalies at the highest level. If he wants to play in Ottawa for more than just a handful of games this year, that’s the next step that he will need to take.

Formenton starting the season in Belleville is probably the likeliest scenario, and it will give him a chance to refine the more advanced aspects of his game, before making the jump to the nation’s capital.

With five more appearances on our list, if all goes right, it’s safe to assume that Alex Formenton will be a fixture on the upper-end for years to come.

Comments

my man Alex

i do tend to go on about him…but here is how i feel…of all the guys we have in the system, who haven’t played a season(ish) of NHL hockey, he is the one i am most sure of having a long future ahead of him. Speed and not afraid of traffic, and somewhat skilled. He has a ready made pro game. What that will translate into in terms of points, i don’t know. To me, tho, he is Dzingel but better. Whether he will ever get to play with the caliber of players Dzingel lucked into, i don’t know. A lock as a long term NHLer.

Personally, I hope he is of the calibre of players, that Dzingle lucked into. I really hope he makes the team and never looks back after the preseason. Thought he was ready 2 years ago, if not for rules on eligiblity, he would have starred in the AHL last year.

Me thinks Bob was writing about the players Dzingle got to play with, not the questioning calibre of Formenton

I was twisting his words, to suggest Forementon could be as good as, the linemates Dzingle played with, therefore better than Dzingle, the lucky bastard.

That’s some pretzel talk!

Its how my mind works, not on drugs.

Alex and development

I love this guy because of his blazing speed. He gained about 20 lbs since being drafted and is ready to be a pro now. In spite of the injury, he still has a 1 PPG for the last two years in London, which imo is the best Junior organization for training.

It’s a balancing act how much the Sens want to expose Alex to a lot of losing at this point. These kinds of decisions will have to be made for all of the up and coming kids. In the interest of development, I’d like to see several of these kids get 8 or 9 games or so and just let them all develop slowly. The ones that really shine should get more, but what’s really important right now is the development. We may as well win the Calder Cup and draft really high this year with at least 5 picks in the top 50 coming in a good draft year.

Maybe we need to get him a used clothes dryer?

It sure worked for Crosby

Norris and Formenton ...

Today’s NHL is more about pairs of players that excel, instead of the old time named lines (french connection, pizza line … although only together for <2 years). I am curious to see how Norris and Formenton work together. Norris may have the skating ability to play with Formenton and perhaps they can make each other better. We already know that Brown and Batherson work well together … and I would love to see Connor Brown as the other player on this line (speed and corner work).

Can he play both ways? Speed is a great asset for a forward coming back to check if he uses it.

I'd expect the defensive aspect of the game to be a major part of his development this year.

The knock on A4 from his audition last year was that he didn’t finish. I wouldn’t worry about his scoring so soon. That can come with playing time, and reps with consistent linemates.

But there are two nets on every rink, and I think Alex could carve out a niche as a defensive forward in the bottom 6 as soon as this year. I think, with his speed, Alex would be very well suited to the PK. Hopefully DJ will give him some room to grow and figure out that assignment.

he will do anything asked of him. He just oozes professional. He is as far from prima donna as it gets.

Let it not be said that when you like someone you don’t go all in!

Looking forward to Formenton

Fast players can be thrilling to watch and I am certainly looking forward to seeing Formenton racing off on short-handed breakaways and taking away 2-on-1 chances with his speed.

I haven’t seen a lot of him in juniour, so maybe he is ready for the NHL now. Personally, I would love to see him add to Belleville’s firepower for a decent chunk of the season. Partly, so that we don’t "rush" Formenton, and partially so he gets to enjoy some wins and hopefully be part of a nice playoff run.

As others have said, he could have a long NHL career and at 20 there is no need to necessarily rush it. Of course, if he is clearly too good for the AHL then I fully support keeping him in Ottawa.

Just watching the speed and talent, I think he might be too good for the AHL. Probably could have starred there the last 2 years, if not for eligibility rules. Pretty much was always one of the last cuts for the NHL.

Maybe they do like they did with Chabot and Karlsson before him, send him down and after he has torn things up in the AHL for 10-20 games then return him to Ottawa with no looking back.

Here’s hoping that’s the plan and it has a happy ending.

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