No announcement yet.

2015 top-20 Sens prospects

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 2015 top-20 Sens prospects

    It's about that time of year again for my annual top Sens prospects rankings. To avoid complications I'm considering Lazar and Pageau graduated, even though one or the other may see significant time in the AHL this year. If it's Pageau, his NHL career is in trouble; if it's Lazar, that would be great for him and the organization.

    1. Thomas Chabot, LD

    2. Colin White, C/RW

    3. Marcus Högberg, G - just 20 but he was already a regular starter in the SHL this year. He has the size and all the tools to be an elite NHL goalie someday.

    4. Filip Chlapik, C - not as much offensive upside as Gagne, but Gagne is pure boom-or-bust. If not a top-six forward Chlapik could still develop into a two-way top-nine forward.

    5. Gabriel Gagne, RW - long-term project but could be a big-time scorer in the league someday.

    6. Chris Wideman, RD - we know he's the best defenseman in the AHL (officially), but he's also already 25. Sure, certain small defensemen like Dan Boyle and Brian Rafalski didn't break into the league until well into their twenties and went on to become elite, but those are few and far between.

    7. Nick Paul LW/C - now generally considered by fans to be what I believe Sens management intended all along - the centerpiece of the Jason Spezza deal. Never going to be more than a 20 goal-scorer at best, but Nick Paul is a born winner and will play his best hockey when it matters.

    8. Mikael Wikstrand, LD - at just 21, he ranked thirteenth in the SHL in ToI, and fourth in the league for the playoffs. Question marks about NHL-translatability, but he's already one of the top D-men in Sweden.

    9. Matt O'Connor, G

    10. Tobias Lindberg, C

    11. Matt Puempel, LW - despite a mediocre showing in Bingo this year, he still got into NHL games ahead of Prince or Schneider, which suggests to me the team sees him as a player whose game translates better to the NHL than others who have performed better at lower levels. NHL 30 goal-scorer? Highly doubtful, but maybe 20.

    12. Shane Prince, LW - Prince ranked second in the AHL in scoring by players under 24 this year. But he's also 5'10 and full of question marks.

    13. Chris Driedger, G - has had a few hiccups since turning pro, but at just 21, he still has NHL starter potential.

    14. Andreas Englund, LD - this year he only played 12:43 per game for Djurgarden in the SHL, yet still ranked first amongst his teams' defensemen in hits and second in blocked shots.

    15. Ryan Dzingel, LW - just a seventh round pick but then was a Hobey Baker finalist three years later, and had a strong rookie pro season. Still a longshot but his development curve is promising.

    16. Filip Ahl, W - like Gabriel Gagne, a big power winger with big offensive upside, but a lot of question marks make him a boom/bust type prospect.

    17. Cole Schneider, W - another very strong AHL season but he's 24 now and still not a single call-up. Could still become a good bottom-six forward but the clock is ticking

    18. Christian Jaros, RD

    19. Buddy Robinson, RW - basically the same story as Schneider.

    20. Fredrik Claesson, LD

    At first glance It might seem really weird that four of the top five came from this year's draft, but when you consider how incredible this draft class was, combined with the Sens' lack of a first rounder last year, some missing seconds and thirds in recent years, and how many top prospects we've recently graduated, it actually seems pretty obvious.

    On a somewhat unrelated note, I just noticed something. After all Murray's talk lately about wanting not simply players who can play, but players who play their best when it really matters, look at Mika Zibanejad's 2012 WJC overtime gold medal winner, Curtis Lazar's 2014 Mem Cup semi-final triple overtime goal, and now Colin White with his 2015 U18 overtime gold medal winning goal, Murray is showing it was more than just talk.

  • #2
    Awesome, thanks for posting. We are very heavy on the left side, both at forward and defence. The right side is lacking at both spots though. I think we will see some turnover of a couple of these prospects before the season's close.


    • #3
      Yeah. I just watched Tobias Lindberg's development camp exit interview, and even though he's a left shot they told him there's a spot open on the right side in Bingo that will be his to take next year.


      • #4
        Clearly they were attemping to address that situation at this years draft with potential top six right wings Colin White and Gabriel Gagne, but those guys are both likely a little ways away.


        • #5
          Good list. Personally, I'd have Puempel a little higher. After looking into him a little more and his last season, perhaps not as high as I was thinking, but probably up a few spots.


          • #6
            Well for starters I would say there is so little separating 6-12, they're almost interchangeable. Puempel is kind of a wildcard to me. His goal-scoring prowess is unassailable, and I have little doubt that he is capable of being at least a 25 goal-scorer in the big league, but in order to do that he'd need to get the ice time and opportunity. But he always seems to be a minus player wherever he goes, and he's just not going to get those minutes and opportunities if his coaches can't trust him defensively.

            I've said it before, he reminds me of Alexander Frolov, not in terms of style or anything, but as a likely career trajectory - a guy that comes into the league and maybe has some defensive deficiencies overlooked early in his career due to his goal-scoring prowess, but eventually will find himself out of the league early if he doesn't figure it out.

            It would be tempting to argue, "but in the NHL he was a plus six in just thirteen games." But one glance at his Vollman chart shows he was playing extremely - like, ridiculously - sheltered minutes. But at least his corsi was very strong in addition to his plus minus in those very sheltered minutes.


            • #7
              You make some good points. He definitely has a lot of flaws to his game. I feel like we had a similar conversation last year ... it must seem like I'm a huge Puempel fan. Honestly, I'm not. As you said, he has 25 goal potential. Can you really say that about any of our other prospects? (I ask that while keeping in mind that two of Ottawa's rookies just scored 25+ goals last season). But, yeah, only 45 players scored 25+ goals last season. On a technical note, that would make him the second highest goal scorer on an average team. I definitely wouldn't make that +6 in 13GP argument. While 13 games is small enough to skew any stat, +/- is probably the easiest to skew. Personally, I'd probably slide him in at #8.

              While I thought the Ryan deal was great (turning a few good prospects into one high-end player), the prospect pool was getting bare without that 2014 1st pick and a lot of our prospects graduating to NHL status. I think Murray made the right call keeping our four picks in the first two rounds and stacking up the cupboard a little bit.