As the final battle for the 2021 Stanley Cup rages on, there’s actually been a fair amount of Ottawa Senators related news — just in time for today’s Links, News and Notes!
- Josh Norris had a successful rookie season for Ottawa, to say the least. The budding star posted 35 points in 56 games, and while he didn’t quite reach the threshold required for a Calder Trophy nomination, he was close with an impressive fourth-place finish. Fellow rookies Tim Stützle and Artem Zub placed ninth and seventeenth respectively in the voting. Norris did earn a spot on the 2021 NHL All-Rookie Team, along with Calder winner Kirill Kaprizov, nominees Jason Robertson and Alex Nedeljkovic, as well as K’Andre Miller and Ty Smith.
- In another bit of Sens Prospect news, Leevi Meriläinen, the team’s third-round selection from the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, was selected yesterday in the CHL Import Draft 48th overall by the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs. The Finnish goaltender signed his entry-level deal with the Senators two weeks ago and is expected to spend the 2022 season either playing with Kingston or returning to the Liiga for another season. Both options have their perks, and it all comes down to choosing between tougher competition, or an early transition to North American ice.
- The first of several big names in this year’s UFA class came off the board on Tuesday, as the Edmonton Oilers locked up forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the next eight years at a $5.125M AAV. It’s a solid deal for both sides, with an eight-year deal is a best-case scenario for a player of Nugent-Hopkins’ age and caliber, and the team-friendly cap hit plays in favour of the Oilers. Edmonton, as you may have heard is desperately looking to capitalize on the primes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
- Team USA revealed their 44-man roster for the 2021 World Junior Summer Showcase on Monday, and 2020 gold medalists Jake Sanderson and Tyler Kleven are both present. It’s the first step for the pair of North Dakota defensemen towards what would be a very impressive back-to-back victory.
- If you happen to be subscribed to the Athletic, Ian Mendes wrote yet another wonderful piece on Monday; this one’s all about former Ottawa Senator and Binghamton head coach Luke Richardson and the impact his family’s had on the road to his first-ever Stanley Cup Final.
- Lastly, Locked On Podcasts ran their 2021 Mock Draft yesterday, and you can find out who they have Senators selecting 10th overall here./