With a hat-trick last night in an exhibition game as part of Team Canada's development camp, Curtis Lazar is only adding to the hype. TSN's Ryan Rishaug was on TSN1200 earlier this week, and talked about how Lazar was the best player on the ice, and would certainly lead Team Canada, but expects him to be an NHL player in the Fall.
Ever since his draft day, we've heard nothing but positive things for Lazar, who's somewhat of a PR goldmine for an organization and fanbase eager for good news. Character that Pierre Dorion called the best he'd ever encounter, high end skill, tenacity, speed on the forecheck - Lazar has aspects of his game for fans of all types. With one more year of Junior eligibility with reigning Memorial Cup champions Edmonton, or the National Hockey League as his options, Sens management have an interesting choice to make. The age old question: what does the player have left to accomplish in Junior? If you look at Lazar's career and stats, combined with the role he received in EDM last year - the answer is not much. Of course, it never hurts to put up a ton of points and dominate your league, especially when the Sens are crowded on the right side. A season in the American Hockey League would be perfect for him, but unfortunately, that isn't allowed due to an agreement between the CHL-AHL. The next question would be: would Lazar get the NHL minutes he needs to develop? Is 20+ minutes in an inferior league better than 10-11 minutes in the NHL?
These questions are hard to answer right now, and with Ryan, Chiasson, Stone, Condra, and Neil on the right side, something will have to give for Lazar to make the team. There are indications that the Sens are trying to trade Condra, which I don't advocate for as he's a very useful and cheap possession driver on the 4th line. However, given the signs from management and analysts around the league, the word is that if Lazar impresses come training camp, the Sens will find a spot for him.
Where do you think Curtis Lazar should play next season, and if the answer is the NHL, how would you create a roster spot for him?
- The Sens website gives us status updates on prospects Curtis Lazar, Nick Paul, and Ben Harpur as they try to make Canada's U20 World Junior team. [Update I, Update II]
- SensTV also sat down with Ben Harpur, who was #22 in our Top 25 Under 25 series! [SensTV, T25U25]
- Also in our Top 25 Under 25 Series, Michaela wrote about Chris Wideman (#23) and Peter wrote about Buddy Robinson (#21) [Wideman, Robinson]
- Here's SensChirp on the man himself, Curtis Lazar. [SensChirp]
- Also, from earlier in the week, the Sens signed forward Vincent Dunn to an entry-level deal. As one of the youngest prospects drafted in 2013, I'm excited to see how this player progresses. Keep reading our Top 25 Under 25 series and you may just get a special appearance from someone. [Ottawa Senators]
- Over at Sporting News, Yost asks if the Senators are too reliant on Erik Karlsson. [Sporting News]
- With hockey analytics as a huge conversation topic this summer, Chris Lund wrote up a really nice primer on the Sens website for those who need an introduction. [Ottawa Senators]
- Our NKB also wrote about the topic and discussed how hockey analytics and the events this summer has changed the landscape of how we analyze our favourite game. [Silver Seven]
- Our latest email hotstove discussed a topic we're frequently asked about by our readers - how the blogging/writing process works. [Email Hotstove]
- Lastly, a strongly recommended read from Darren, who examines the pros and cons of a contract extension for Bobby Ryan. [Silver Seven]
- Adnan's favourite Russian player talks about how flawed the +/- stat is, and he's right. Though it had an admirable goal, it failed to be useful for player analysis due to a number of mitigating factors. [The Score]
- Once linked to the Senators at the trade deadline, defenseman Michael Del Zotto has signed in Philadelphia. [The Score]
- The hiring that caused a lot of buzz this week - blogger Tyler Dellow to EDM - is discussed by coach Dallas Eakins, who's a huge supporter of analytics. [The Score]
- Want to see Sidney Crosby dump a bucket of ice water over his head (for charity)? Of course you do! [Puck Daddy]
- Jared from Rangers Unlimited looks at four common criticisms of possession stats. Interesting read if you're currently not sold on hockey analytics. [Rangers Unlimited]
Sens Summer Fan Fest
Sens fan Kevin Lee (of Bonk's Mullet fame) is organizing a Sens Summer Fan Fest on August 17 from 1pm to 5 pm at MacLaren's (corner of MacLaren and Elgin in Ottawa). Tickets are $25 and must be purchased in advance. You can buy tickets online here.
It's going to be a great afternoon featuring panel discussion with Ottawa media personalities (Ian Mendes, Brent Wallace, James Gordon) and bloggers (Peter, Adnan, Amelia, Luke Peristy, Graeme Nichols, SensNation). There will be a raffle and contests such as an NHL14 tournament and trivia!
Your ticket includes food, pool table rental, a raffle ticket, and a donation to the Sens Foundation! I'll also be attending!
Hope to see you all there!
Thanks for reading.