Ottawa Senators Report Cards: Boris Katchouk

The waiver-wire pickup had a solid season in Ottawa

Ottawa Senators Report Cards: Boris Katchouk
Photo by Samantha Gades / Unsplash

Reader Grade: C+, Staff Grade: C+

You know things haven’t gone as planned when you're claiming players off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks. Granted, this one was actually a decent Ottawa Senator in the time he spent in the nation's capital. Perhaps enough to stick around for another year.

After tallying 9 points in 38 games with Chicago, Boris Katchouk was picked up on waivers by Ottawa and skated in each of the team's remaining 21 games — mostly on the fourth line. Considering what we've been used to seeing in that role, I think it's fair to say that his 4 points in 21 games is a pace we'd appreciate across an entire season. At the very least, it wouldn't be a weak point of the roster.

Katchouk found his way onto the scoresheet in three different games, all of which were Ottawa Senators victories, and two of which were decided by a single goal. That's valuable secondary scoring the team could use a lot more of going forward, especially in games in which their top players are having an off-night.

He also clearly did his research on Ottawa's numbers, particularly their off-the-charts-horrible PK save percentage, and went without being dinged for a single PIM.

His most common linemates were Mark Kastelic and Parker Kelly, and the two performed much better with Katchouk than without him, albeit in a sample size of only 100 minutes:

2023-24 Kastelic + Kelly 5v5 TOI 5v5 CF% 5v5 xGF% 5v5 GD
With Katchouk 105 54.68 55.06 -1
Without Katchouk 207 47.12 43.28 -4

It may be worthwhile to bring Katchouk back on a 1-year deal, depending on how much cap space is available after Shane Pinto and others are re-signed, and holes on the third line and the back end are filled. Though as far as being a regular in the lineup goes, personally, I see Angus Crookshank as a better fit. The 5th-round pick from 2018 put up 46 points in 50 games in his second full season with Belleville, along with 3 points in 13 with the big club this year.

If Katchouk is back with Ottawa next season, he could be another option for the penalty kill along with Mathieu Joseph and Kelly. He didn't play any minutes with Ottawa this season but filled in on occasion with Chicago. Suppressing quality chances on the PK was the one thing the Blackhawks did whilst somewhat resembling an NHL team, and they were better with Katchouk on the ice than off.

So, do you think the Senators should bring back Katchouk on a 1-year deal, or look for other options to round out their depth for 2024-25?

There's a whole roster to go through, so stay tuned!

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