Silver Nuggets: March Prospect Update - Defensemen
I'm not going to lie: the working title for this post until ~ 9am today was "Is Mike Hoffman going to be the next skilled player shipped out of Ottawa" but decided against it in the name of positivity... for now.
Instead, I thought we'd check in on our current batch of trade bait hatchlings for Dave Cameron to misuse defensive prospects since our last cumulative prospect update was all the way back in December. That post gives a more in-depth introduction to each player, so read that first if you need to get caught up!
Let's start with the Europeans. Both Andreas Englund and Christian Jaros have picked up their play since their solid World Juniors performances, where both were named as one of the "top three players" on their respective teams. We learned that the Senators are trying to bring Englund over to Binghamton next year, something that I noted would be positive to see if he has any NHL potential given his "North American" style of play. As of December 18th, Englund only have 1 point -- a goal -- to his name this season, but has since added another goal and four assists to bring his season total to six points in 42 games. Englund's D partner, 24 yo Philip Holm, coincidentally has the same number of points. The two make up the second pair in Djurgärdens, playing around 18 minutes a night in mostly defensive minutes while the top pair (~22 minutes a night) get most of the offensive zone time. Djurgärdens has a young D corps, so they've spread out the minutes across the three pairs. With a team leading 3:24 SHTOI/gm, 78 hits, 39 blocks, while only having 30 shots on goal, you get the type of player Englund is. Even so, he's been given a lot of opportunity with Djurgärdens as a 20yo playing against men.
Christian Jaros had spent much of the start of the year with Asplöven in the Swedish junior league, but only played three more games there since the World Juniors as he was called up by Lulea to regain his spot on the blueline from last year. Jaros plays third-pair minutes (~14 minutes a night), has more shots than games played (31 to 24 woo!), and has 4 points (all assists) in 24 games, which matches his game looking a bit more offensive than Englund's in the World Juniors that we watched. Unlike Englund, Jaros has barely played any powerplay or penalty kill. Given where the Senators sit contract-wise and given the players they want to sign/bring over, I expect Jaros to stay another year in Sweden, playing the full year in Lulea.
The three NCAA D prospects have generally seen status quo since December, and are now in playoff season as their regular season is shorter than most sub-NHL leagues. Miles Gendron from UConn has been the most disappointing of the bunch. The boom/bust forward-turned-defenseman with high-end skating started off the season with 5 points in 12 games, but finished the year with 6 in 26. Kelly Summers (Clarkson) has been better, turning 6 points in 15 games into 12 in 33. Importantly, despite this being his rookie season, Summers ranked in the top-50 D with 2 shots a game and found himself on Clarkson's second powerplay unit, where he put up one-third of his points. The oldest, but most recently drafted of the bunch, Christian Wolanin kept up his 0.5 PPG pace throughout the entire season with NoDak, ending the year with 14 points in 28 games as the team hopes to go to the Frozen Four. He only put up 29 shots in 28 games, to which I may infer that his ability is more in his passing in the transition game to get his point totals, rather than offensive zone dominance.
Lastly, let's look at the two QMJHLers. First is Cody Donaghey, the main prospect the team got back in the Dion Phaneuf trade. Donaghey, a May 1996 birthday, is already signed to his entry-level deal and could be in Binghamton next year. He ranks 26th among all QMJHL defensemen with 31 points, 95 shots in 46 games, split between the Halifax Mooseheads and the Moncton Wildcats. An offensive D, 5 of his 9 goals are on the powerplay, and I'm excited to see if his game will translate over to the AHL as the BSens are in dire need of a powerplay quarterback sans Mike Hoffman and Chris Wideman.
Thomas Chabot has been on fire in March, and is looking to finish the last 6 games of the season on a strong note. With 41 points in 42 games, Chabot is 12th in QMJHL D scoring, but since he's missed a ton of time at Team Canada's camp and a minor injury, what's even more impressive is the fact that he's only one of four defenseman to be very close to or at a point-per-game on the year. With over 3 shots a game (134), Chabot has eclipsed his last season totals in 20 less games and if his 7 points and 15 shots in 4 games in March is any indication, there's a chance he could finish the year even higher. This is the part of the post where I rue the CHL-NHL transfer agreement as the AHL would be a perfect place for Chabot next year - he's likely done with the QMJHL but shouldn't be rushed to the pro game like Cody Ceci was, especially because it can be damaging to defensemen with an offensive-style of game that they can be "coached" out of *cough*.
It's not all doom and gloom! Check back next Tuesday for the forwards.
- WE BEAT THE LEAFS. [Silver Seven, SensChirp, Ottawa Citizen]
- but lost to the Stars. [Silver Seven, SensChirp, Ottawa Citizen]
- The BSens also went 1-1 on the weekend; Jeff has more! The new players are impressing. [Silver Seven - v. Hershey, v. Lehigh Valley]
- Only bit of weekend roster news game after the Dallas game, where we learned that Mark Borowiecki is likely done for the year with a torn MCL. [Silver Seven, Ottawa Citizen]
- Another reason why there was no point for me to write about Hoffman yet is because Nichols covered lots of what I could've potentially said in his excellent piece. How'd this all start? Check out the Citizen piece or the TSN piece by Ian Mendes. [6th Sens, Ottawa Citizen, TSN]
- Peter also chimes in on the Hoffman situation, and updates us with some BSens and Evansville numbers. [Eye on the Sens]
- A piece that makes me sad, because it focuses on Milan Michalek who really didn't want to leave Ottawa. [Ottawa Citizen]
- Finish your Nuggets with some audio courtesy of Episode [almost every goalie ever] of the Chet Sellers & Luke Peristy podcast. [Silver Seven]
- The Senators may be in tough to acquire Jonathan Drouin in the summer as the Lightning lifted their suspension on him after he reported to Syracuse (AHL) [TBLightning]
- Now that Ottawa isn't in the playoffs, who are the real Stanley Cup contenders? [Sportsnet]
- With more and more evidence surmounting on its dangers, fighting may be removed from junior hockey all together. [The Globe & Mail]
- Interested in making hockey graphs? Here are some tips by the folks who run a blog all about them. [Hockey-Graphs]
- Who are the major award winners at the 3/4 mark? Here are Scott Cullen's. [TSN]
- An incredible youth basketball video featuring full court shots and buzzer beating 3s. [Deadspin]