As was expected, given DJ Smith’s comments earlier this week, the Ottawa Senators released a series of players this morning.
Sens have made their big round of cuts today:— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) October 3, 2021
(On Waivers with hopes to go to AHL)
(Back to junior)
In the grand scheme of things, there are no real surprises here. With the acquisitions of Nick Holden and Michael Del Zotto this offseason, it felt like a long shot for Jacob Bernard-Docker to make the NHL team right out of camp. The good news is he’ll get a chance to play top minutes for Belleville Head Coach Troy Mann, in all situations.
Egor Sokolov was also released from camp Sunday morning. An early front runner for a thin right wing position, Sokolov played well through camp but a combination of the acquisition of Zach Sanford, Tyler Ennis’ PTO and the lack of a need to rush Sokolov made it a pretty straight forward decision to have him start the year with the BSens. Sokolov led all AHL rookies in scoring last season with 15 goals in 35 games (a 30+ goal pace over a full season).
Lassi Thomson and Maxence Guénette will round out a strong right side for Belleville while Mark Kastelic is expected to take some important draws for the BSens in his second year on the team. We’ll have to wait to see if any of Pontus Åberg, Dillon Heatherington or Kole Sherwood gets claimed off waivers but if I were a betting man, I’d expect them all safely at BSens camp tomorrow morning. Now isn’t really the time for teams to be picking up AHL talent off the wire.
As for the CHLers, Ridly Greig and Zack Ostapchuk both showed Sens fans why the team was so high on them when they were drafted. Greig’s combination of tenacity and skill reminds us a lot of a young Brad Marchand or Brendan Gallagher type while Ostapchuk’s size and speed made him standout during preseason action. We’re certain to see Greig play for Team Canada at the World Juniors and you have to wonder if a big start to his season with the Vancouver Giants, if Ostapchuk can at least make a difficult decision for Hockey Canada’s front office.