Senators' Prospect Roundup: December 20th, 2011

In case you were taking a stroll around La Rinconada, Peru over the weekend, (I literally just googled 'very remote places on earth') you likely heard the Senators dealt a second round pick and David Rundblad for Kyle Turris. As a result, Nikita Filatov did not get as much ice time Twitter attention as he might have thought. The Filatov drama was resolved yesterday afternoon, when it was reported the winger had signed a deal with the Red Army club. Earlier reports indicated the Senators' assignment of Filatov to Binghamton, with the likely intention of a suspension if a deal was not reached. Alas, a deal was reached and we probably won't see Nikita Filatov for the rest of the year. I'm not sure what I believe anymore.

The Binghamton Senators played four games over the course of the past week, with Mike McKenna starting the latter three games. The B-Sens won 2 of 3 on the weekend and were buoyed by the return of Corey Locke. Last year's MVP had 2 assists in three games over the weekend. On the other hand, Stephane Da Costa had four points. Competition is healthy.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 4, Binghamton Senators 2

Pittsburgh's affiliate has handled BInghamton all season long (1-5), but last Wednesday could have been a little different. The B-Sens surrendered both of their one-goal leads (1-0, 2-1) and had no answer for a late push from Wilkes-Barre. Robin Lehner's 3 goals on 23 shots- the final goal was on an empty net- left a fair amount to be desired, but the B-Sens did match the Penguins' on the shot count.

Binghamton Senators 3, Adirondack Phantoms 1

Former Binghamton star Denis Hamel put up a ridiculous seven shots on goal and Mike McKenna stopped them all. Stephane Da Costa had a goal, and looked like one of the best players on the ice all night long. Rob Klinkhammer also scored his third for the B-Sens. The team has benefitted from having his strong presence, and Ottawa is unlikely to miss that conditional seventh round pick. Locke had an assist on the night, but he's an extremely important player on the team, and Koach Kleneinendorst is probably delighted to have him back. David Dziurzynski also had a goal in the first period. Dziurzynski had a very slow start to the season, but is often a noticeable player on the ice, and has picked up his productivity of late.

Worcester Sharks 5, Binghamton Senators 2

Binghamton led after twenty minutes, but were outdone for the next forty. With McKenna starting his second in a row, the B-Sens were outshot for a second straight night. I really don't have much more to say on this one.

Binghamton Senators 4, Adirondack Phantoms 1

It's good to see the B-Sens actually outduel a team every time they face each other. The Phantoms have been that team so far this year, as the B-Sens have won all three meetings between the two. More impressive is the fact that Adirondack is actually a fairly decent team, with a record of 15-11-2, good for second in the AHL's Northeast Division. It's important to point out that neither of the last two wins would have been possible if Mike McKenna didn't have this team figured out. BInghamton was blanketed with forty shots, and McKenna stopped all but one. The veteran goaltender has only looked better with time in Binghamton.

Binghamton plays in Albany before taking a Christmas break. Starting Boxing Day, they'll play four games in six days. Add the World Juniors to that, and it's going to be some busy days.

Here are some fun tidbits concerning some other Sens' prospect stuff:

  • Mark Stone ripped a shot from near the blueline before hustling in and scoring on his own rebound in Canada's pre-tournament matchup against Finland. Stone exhibited the very quick hands he is known for, as well as a strong presence, and some quickness, in front of the net. From that one highlight, I have no criticisms of his skating.
  • The actual fun will have begun by the time I post the next of these updates. Sens fans have plenty to pay attention to, with players on the ice for Sweden, Canada, the United States and the Czech Republic. If you are hoping to catch all the Sens' prospects' games, you better not have any other plans.
  • It's no coincidence that these updates are posted the day after the Senators release their weekly prospect update. Take a look at it here.
  • Some of the Senators' defensemen in the system are having impressive offensive seasons: Michael Sdao has surprised with 5 goals. Sdao was drafted to be a strong, physical player. By all accounts, he has been doing that and more, leading the team in penalty minutes. Ben Blood has upped his productivity with 9 points in 18 games, and Bryce Aneloski has 9 in 20. Add Chris Wideman to that list- he also has 9 points in 20.
  • Turns out the Shanahammer has some very long reach. Matt Puempel's eight game suspension for an illegal check to the head will have him out for nearly a month. The hit occurred on December 4th. All things considered, this may not be the worst thing to happen to Puempel. Nobody likes to be suspended, but Puempel suffered a fairly serious hip injury last year, which might have slowed his play to start the season. Junior players rarely have time off where they can only focus on conditioning and strength. There is really no such thing as an off-season for a good, young player. With the right training regimen, Puempel could turn a bad situation into somewhat of a blessing.
  • Ryan Dzingel's 15 points in 17 games with the Ohio State Buckeyes is good for 15th in the CCHA in scoring. Not much to draw conclusions on, but the seventh round pick is only a few points back of Detroit's first round selection from 2010, Riley Sheahan.
  • Patrick Wiercioch is home. Good news. Here's to hoping there's no lasting damage.

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