Ottawa Senators: Looking At The Top Ten Prospects

Ottawa Senators

The Ottawa Senators have a stocked pond full of prospects and in this post, I’m going to list 10-6. The rest of the top ten will be featured in my next post.

I am excited to be sharing my opinions regarding the Ottawa Senators here on Puck77. It’s been a long year so far but one that has also showed promise to an extremely desperate fan base in need of some positive news (for once). With the emergence of young roster players such as Thomas Chabot, Colin White, Brady Tkachuk and Max Lajoie, the future is looking pretty bright here in Ottawa.

However, when I look at this roster, there is a clear need for a superstar. Thomas Chabot has already showed great promise for eventually becoming the Senators superstar but this still leaves a lot to be desired. The Ottawa Senators need a clear-cut superstar on their roster which is why they are currently embarked in a rebuild. The Senators have two 1st round picks in the 2020 NHL draft with hopefully one of the two becoming young phenom Alexis Lafrenière.

While we can never know if the Senators will end up with Alexis Lafrenière or other can’t miss prospects, we do know one thing, the Senators have an extremely promising young crop of elite talents. For this particular post I will not be including prospects over the age of 21 as well as players that are already playing full-time with the Senators such as Brady Tkachuk, Colin White… Now, let’s countdown the Senators best prospects from 10 to 6 in this two-part top prospects post.

10. Angus Crookshank, LW (Sleeper)

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Angus Crookshank has been a pleasant surprise for many Sens fans this season. A 5th round pick in last year’s draft, Crookshank is currently playing for the University of New Hampshire where he is second in scoring with 22 points in 25 games as an 18-year-old. He is a little undersized at 5’10 but makes up for it with his quick feet and ability to win his 1 on 1 battles. Crookshank appears to be a steal for the Senators if he can keep up his current pace. Keep a close eye on this freshman.

NHL ready: 2022-23

9. Jonny Tychonick, LD (Green Chipper)

Tychonick is currently playing for the University of North Dakota along with fellow Ottawa Senators prospect Jacob Bernard-Docker. Many think the Senators picked up both these players in the 2018 NHL draft because they were longtime friends who have already been paired together before who both committed to playing for the University of North Dakota program.

Tychonick missed over a month of hockey after he sustained an injury early in the season but has since returned to the lineup. He has had a little more trouble getting used to the college hockey pace with his 4 assists in 16 games but he is gaining more confidence after every game. Don’t expect Tychonick to turn pro for at least another two years. I hope to one day see a Tychonick-Bernard Docker pairing for the Senators.

NHL ready: 2022-23

8. Filip Gustavsson, G (Green Chipper)

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Gustavsson was part of the return that saw Derick Brassard shipped to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Gustavsson still seems to be the goalie of the future for the Senators even though he has struggled this season with Belleville down in the AHL. He currently own a 0.884 save % and a 3.51 GAA along with a 11-15-0 record.

While those numbers aren’t exactly great, we have to remember that Gustavsson is only 20 years old and has plenty of room for improvement. After all, he did win the best goalie award at the 2018 world juniors tournament. With the emergence of Joey Daccord with Arizona State this season it will be interesting to see what the Senators do with their young goaltenders. Ideally, Gustavsson spends the next 2-3 years in the American league until he sees NHL action.

NHL ready: 2021-22

7. Filip Chlapik, C (Green Chipper)

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At 21 years old, Chlapik has a great skill set and already has some NHL action under his belt. I’m surprised he hasn’t been called up to the NHL this season. Last year, he led the Belleville Senators with 32 points despite only playing in 52 games. He also played 20 games with the Ottawa Senators where he collected one goal and three assists. He has battled injuries down in the AHL where he has only been able to suit up for 31 of a possible 46 games while registering 22 in those contests.

Chlapik was a favorite to make the big club out of training camp but was outplayed by fellow rookies Colin White, Brady Tkachuk and Alex Formenton. He has top nine potential in the NHL and could become an important piece in the Senators rebuild as a center. Expect to see Chlapik with the Ottawa Senators in the near future.

NHL ready: 2019-2020

6. Rudolfs Balcers, LW (Green Chipper)

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Balcers was acquired by the Senators in the Erik Karlsson trade this past September. He has a tendency to adjust and dominate at the higher competition that is presented to him year after year. Oddly enough, Balcers started his junior career in a relatively unknown league in Norway. He was eventually recognized by the San Jose Sharks and they ended up drafting him in the 5th round in 2015. Balcers put up 40 goals for Kamloops in the WHL with tougher competition in 2016–17 and ended up leading the San Jose Barracuda in goals and points as a rookie in the AHL this past season. He also has a nice resume on the international stage for the Latvian team. The Latvian national continues his strong play this season as he currently has 28 points including 15 goals in 38 games played.

Balcers has also seen a short call up with the Ottawa Senators where he scored his first NHL goal along with an assist in 8 games. I expect Balcers to receive another call-up before the end of the season, probably after the trade deadline where it is expected the Senators rid themselves of some players which will create even more room for the youngsters on the roster. It’s up to Balcers to prove his worth at the NHL level if he ever wants to reach his top 6 forward ceiling considering the Senators have a couple of promising LW youngsters at the moment with Formenton and Tkachuk. Expect Balcers to be an everyday NHLer come next season.

NHL ready: 2019-2020

The Future Is Bright

Although the majority of Senators fans have seem to lost hope in this team, the future is still bright when many promising prospects and many picks in the coming drafts. I’m excited to see what’s in store for many of these young players.

If Pierre Dorion can make good deals at the trade deadline, it could make this rebuild that much faster. I hope Dorion at least signs Mark Stone and possibly Matt Duchene. I’m okay trading Ryan Dzingel for a good return since we already have promising LW players coming up soon.

The Ottawa Senators top prospects (5 to 1) will be coming next week. Stay tuned.

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Featured Image Photo Credit – Nikos Michals

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Author: Daniel Gagnon