Tonight, TSN will be airing a special feature on Ottawa Senators Darren Kramer before the Jets/Hawks match-up. You might be thinking to yourself, "Wait, of all the Senators' prospects... why Darren Kramer?" Well, that's because the point of the feature is not to focus on burgeoning young talent, but rather, on fisticuffs, something Kramer knows a thing or two about.
Kramer led the WHL in fights and penalty minutes last season with 47 and 306, respectively, which blew away the competition. He had more fights than the next two most prolific WHL fighters combined. The next closest player in penalty minutes was Cody Beach with 236, so as you can see, Kramer is something of an expert.
The piece will feature interviews with Kramer, who will discuss why he chose to fight so frequently in order to get the attention of scouts. It'll also include interviews with Spokane Chiefs head coach Don Nachbaur and Senators assistant GM Tim Murray, who can further expand on the role of enforcers in hockey, even at the junior level.
When Kramer was picked in the 6th round by the Senators in this past year's draft, all we knew was that he could fight and that he loved peanut butter. Needless to say, his pick gave rise to two very different reactions from Silver Seven's writing staff in the comments:
This is such a waste of a pick. I know it’s a sixth rounder, but at least pick up a hockey player with risk/some sort of a future.
Amazing. He sounds awesome.
Since his pick, however, Kramer has revealed himself to have more talent than previously recognized. He was named the captain of the Spokane Chiefs for this season and has been praised for his leadership skills, and has 4 goals and 7 points in his first four games, meaning he's halfway to his point total from last season.
Kramer's increased reliance on his skills rather than his fists may be because of his training camp experience, as he recently told the Record Gazette: "The message was pretty clear when I was in camp in Ottawa that 47 fights was unacceptable. It's what got me noticed and it was what I was willing to do to get to the next step, but now it's time to develop my game." For inspiration, he's looked to his "former and hopefully future teammate" Jared Cowen -- his words, not mine, but you have to love that optimism and enthusiasm about being a Senator.
Hey, it looks like he could be a player after all. What do you have to say for yourself now, Adnan?
As mentioned earlier, you can catch that special tonight at 8:00pm EST on TSN during the pre-game show for the Jets/Hawks game, which unfortunately coincides with the Sens/Avalanche game. Choose wisely.