Earlier today, TSN’s Darren Dreger tweeted that the Erik Brannstrom and Max Véronneau will make their Ottawa Senators debuts tonight, as the Senators face the St. Louis Blues. If you are in region, you can watch their debuts on TSN5/RDS2.
Veronneau and Brannstrom in the lineup tonight in Ottawa. We’ll have the game on TSN5. https://t.co/0mXdfXHeFj
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 14, 2019
The Erik Karlsson and Mark Stone chapter finally closes in Ottawa as blue chip prospect, Erik Brannstrom who was acquired in the Mark Stone trade is set to make his NHL debut tonight for the Ottawa Senators.
Last off-season, Ottawa management promised that at least 10 prospects would make the jump to the NHL this season as part of the rebuild. Erik Brannstrom adds to that list of young guns including the likes of Colin White, Brady Tkachuk, Max Lajoie and more to make the jump to the big leagues. As all of those players have had respectable seasons so far, what can we expect of Brannstrom?
Erik Brannstrom is Ottawa’s top prospect and projects to be an elite offensive defenseman in the NHL. Some analysts and scouts compare him to a certain Erik Karlsson… Karlsson made the jump to the NHL at age 19, and so will Brannstrom. The 19 year old Swede could slide into Thomas Chabot‘s spot in the lineup as he is out “week to week” with a broken toe. This means that Brannstrom will get a lot of chances to prove his worth to the team and possibly stay in the NHL even when Chabot returns.
Tonight marks the beginning of a new chapter, a chapter where Thomas Chabot and Erik Brannstrom will lead the Ottawa Senators from the back end.
As mentioned above, right-winger Max Véronneau will also make his Senators debut.
Two days ago, Véronneau signed a two year entry-level contract with the Senators. He had been playing collegiate hockey for Princeton University in New Jersey. Throughout his time in Princeton, he was one of their top point producers. But, his best season was his junior year, in which he scored 17 goals and 38 assists in 36 games played.
There will likely be a lot of Senators fans who will be skeptical of Véronneau, as he was never drafted. But, as my colleague, Daniel Gagnon mentioned in his post, the Ottawa, Ontario native is an “all around offensive talent”. He’s also quite speedy as well. Based on his skill-set and his numbers in the NCAA, he could turn into a reliable force for the Senators going forward. Plus, there have been a large number of un-drafted college free agents including Tyler Bozak, Torey Krug, Frank Vatrano, Chris Kunitz and Matt Read who have been very successful in the NHL.
In addition, this contract is a no-risk high-reward deal. Véronneau’s deal is so small and worst case if he doesn’t pan out, he can play in the AHL. No risk what-so-ever.
The Future Is Here
By no means are the Senators done rebuilding. The Senators will continue to invest in young talent and Sens fans will likely see many rookie debuts over the next couple of seasons.
But, there is a lot of excitement around Brannstrom and Véronneau as both players have a lot of potential. With that being said, you should check out their debuts tonight!
stats from eliteprospects.com and hockey-reference.com
featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals