Recently, our official twitter handle posted a poll asking which team had the best prospect pool in the NHL and that inspired me to evaluate the Ottawa Senators prospect pool.
Erik Brannstrom, D, Belleville Senators (AHL)
Brannstrom clearly gets an A+. He’s been outstanding with the Belleville Senators since coming over in the Mark Stone trade. Many scouts around the league compare him to a former Senator, Erik Karlsson. Brannstrom is a skilled puck-moving defenseman and has modeled his game after Karlsson. I believe that he’ll be a top 5 defenseman in the NHL for many years to come. He should be able to crack the full-time roster next season.
Logan Brown, C, Belleville Senators (AHL)
Logan Brown was drafted by the Sens in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. He projects to be the ideal middle 6 center in the NHL in my opinion. I grade Brown as a B+/A- prospect. While I do like Brown, I prefer Colin White in a top 6. I believe that Logan Brown needs a bit more seasoning in order to make the full time jump to the NHL. While call aren’t out of the question, I believe that he will start the 2021-22 season with the Senators.
Drake Batherson, C/RW, Belleville Senators (AHL)
Drake Batherson is an A prospect. He was drafted in the 4th round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. He’s a solid play-maker and has been leading the Belleville Senators in assists with 35. In addition, he’s averaging 1.08 points per game this season in the AHL. Those are excellent numbers and he’s clearly shown that he’s ready for the NHL. He projects to be a top 6 centre, but does have experience playing right-wing.
Vitali Abramov, LW/RW, Belleville Senators (AHL)
Acquired in the Matt Duchene trade, the Russian winger is seen as a high risk, high reward type player. Abramov was drafted in the third round in 2016. He projects to be a top 6 winger. From what I’ve seen from Abramov. he very much looks like a grade A prospect. The best way to describe this player is with the EA NHL game series potential of “low elite”. He is a player who could either pan out to be an elite player in the NHL or be a complete bust and not fail to make it onto an NHL roster. I believe he has a chance to make the NHL starting next season.
Filip Gustavsson, G, Brampton Beast (ECHL)
This Swedish goaltender was acquired in the three-way trade that sent Derick Brassard to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Gustavsson is regarded as one of the better goaltender prospects in the NHL. Gustavsson projects to be an amazing starting goaltender in the NHL. He’s had a rough year in North America as he’s jumped between the AHL and ECHL’s Brampton Beast. Unfortunately, he hasn’t much success in either league. However, it is his first full season in North America, so I expect him to bounce back next season. Gustavsson gets an A rating from me. I expect him to crack the NHL lineup in the 2020-2021 season.
Joel “Joey” Daccord, G, University of Arizona (NCAA)
The 22 year old American goalie has been phenomenal this season in the NCAA. He’s posting numbers that are out of this world. Daccord was drafted in the 7th round in the 2015 draft and at the time was regarded by many as a throw away pick. From discussions with my peers and after conducting my own research, I expect Daccord to be a grade A- prospect. I consider him as a low risk, high reward type goalie. He could become elite, but if he doesn’t, he was just a 7th round pick. I expect him to make the jump to the NHL in a few years, possibly in the 2021-22 season as a 24 year old, backing up Filip Gustavsson.
Filip Chlapik, C, Belleville Senators (AHL)
Centre prospect Filip Chlapik was drafted in the second round in the 2015 draft and has been a question mark for the Sens. My opinion varies on this player as he has just been a weird player in my opinion. In 50 AHL games, at the time of this article, he has 33 points. While it’s a respectable season points-wise, I don’t know if Chlapik will be very pivotal in the NHL and my prediction is that Ottawa will trade him for assets as the Sens have a tremendous amount of centre depth. I see him as a B- prospect.
Jacob Bernard-Docker, D, University of North Dakota (NCAA)
The first round pick of this past draft is an interesting player too. Before the draft, I do not remember ever hearing his name in anybody’s mock draft. Jacob Bernard-Docker strikes me as a potential top 4 defensemen on an NHL roster. He’s stellar in the offensive zone and tallies points, but he’s solid all around. My prediction is that Ottawa will keep either him or Max Lajoie and trade the other. I see him as a B+ prospect and I predict he will jump to the NHL in a couple years, possibly the 2020-21 season.
Jonny Tychonik, D, University of North Dakota (NCAA)
Like his teammate Bernard-Docker, I believe he is an ideal top 4 defensemen. I think he will take Cody Ceci‘s spot in the lineup in two years, as he and Bernard-Docker should make the jump at the same time. The Senators need Jonny Tychonik as he is easily the best right handed defensemen in the system. He’s a B+ prospect.
Jonathan Davidsson, RW, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
Offensive winger Jonathan Davidsson is seen as a good offensive prospect. Currently playing overseas with Djurgårdens IF in the Swedish Hockey League, he’s a former 6th round selection and was acquired from Columbus at this year’s trade deadline. While he started the season well, he is currently dealing with a concussion. He’s a couple seasons away from joining the Senators full-time at the NHL level.
Marcus Hogberg, G, Belleville Senators (AHL)
Marcus Hogberg grades out at a B-. Hogberg had a good stretch earlier in the year in the NHL, but he was only in the big leagues due to necessity. Hogberg projects to be an ideal backup in the league and once Ottawa decides on either Daccord or Gustavsson, Hogberg could serve as either’s backup.
Young Guns on the Roster
Some Senators prospects have made the jump to the NHL already, including Brady Tkachuk, Colin White and Thomas Chabot. All three have had breakthrough seasons in the NHL and they are all regarded as A+ prospects. Tkachuk and White were second and third in rookie scoring for a good chunk of the season and Chabot has been in the top 10 in points for defensemen almost all season.
The Ottawa Senators have a promising future and I hope all the prospects will realize their full potentials. Please tweet me @GrindLikeJags with your opinions and if I missed anyone significant.
Feature Image credeit to Nikos Michals