As the centrepiece of the Jason Spezza trade, Alex Chiasson will have his point totals compared with Spezza in sarcastic quips all season. While most (all?) fans will understand the trade's intention was to exchange an aging asset for multiple younger ones, Chiasson is the most promising of the bunch and will be treated as such.
Picked 38th overall in the 2009 one pick before former Senator Jakob Silfverberg, Chiasson has had a remarkably similar career to Silfverberg. Chiasson has 42 points in 86 games compared with Silfverberg's 42 points in 100 games and the two players were also born nine days apart in October 1990. As he is a largely unknown quantity compared with a year of waiting for Silfverberg's arrival from his exploits in Sweden, Chiasson has a lot less hype surrounding him.
Chiasson had rather mediocre underlying numbers in relatively easily minutes but it was his first full season in the NHL so it is hard to project what sort of player he will be. Chiasson had 80 points in 73 games during his final two years at college and started his professional career with 40 points in 66 AHL games. His points/game in the NHL is already around second line levels but only 22 of his 35 points last season were on even strength. With Bobby Ryan, Kyle Turris, Clarke MacArthur, Mika Zibanejad, David Legwand, Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman on the team it is unclear how much power play time Chiasson will receive next season. Comparing Chiasson's 13 power play points with Senators forwards still on the team (Clarke MacArthur 15, Kyle Turris 14, Bobby Ryan 9) it becomes hard to see him repeating that performance with the man advantage.
Still Chiasson would appear to at least provide a scoring option on a third line and in a limited sample has shown the ability to score in the top six. He is entering the last year of his entry-level contract and is part of a large group of young forwards on the team that will be RFA next season along with Zibanejad, Hoffman and Stone. At 23 years of age, the 2015 edition will be his second and last appearance on our Top 25 Under 25 list. As the newest NHL player under 25 on the list, he probably is the most likely to rise or drop significantly for next season.