In case you forgot, a little thing called the NHL Trade Deadline went down this week. The Senators lost their three big UFAs, which meant losing the players who were 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in goals on the team, and 1st, 2nd, and 4th in points (Thomas Chabot edged out Ryan Dzingel for third). Before the trades went down, almost everyone would’ve agreed that Mark Stone was the Sens’ best forward, with Matt Duchene the second-best, and most would’ve probably put Ryan Dzingel as the third-best.
With them gone, an interesting question shows up: who is the Sens’ best remaining forward?
Some would have the instincts to go with the youngest players, who are already showing themselves to have promise. Brady Tkachuk currently leads the team in goals, and has so far delivered on the promise that came from being a 4th-overall pick. He has scoring instincts, and nose for the net, and the ability to get under other players’ skin that normally comes with experience. The other young option is to go with Colin White, who came back from the summer a much better player. With some writing him off as a second-/third-line tweener, he looked more than capable as the centre for the Mark Stone line, and now looks like he has the potential to become this team’s top-line centre.
Others would feel more comfortable picking an older option. Bobby Ryan was acquired to be this team’s top forward, but he didn’t quite deliver on that early on, and has fallen much farther off the cliff since then. Still, he’s probably the most established goal scorer left on the Sens, and he’s only one behind Tkachuk for the team lead. We still sometimes get glimpses of the soft hands he was once known for. Jean-Gabriel Pageau could also be on your list, just because he’s a reliable player up and down the lineup. He kills penalties, wins faceoffs, and occasionally lights up the Canadiens opposition.
An off-the-board answer now might be Anthony Duclair, who has just one goal since joining the Sens, but also has seemed to be the most dangerous player in those games. It’s a small sample size, but he already might be looking like a player who could stick around in Ottawa.
So, who is this team’s best forward? Is one of the ones above, or do you prefer Drake Batherson’s rookie scoring touch or Chris Tierney’s steadiness? Let us know in the comments!
Who is the best current Ottawa Senators forward?