Throughout the NHL season we’ll be updating you on the development of key Ottawa Senators prospects with some stats, videos, analysis and scouting reports.
The Ottawa Senators’ leading goal-scorer, Mike Hoffman, was a fifth-round steal in 2009. Another young offensive weapon, Mark Stone, was a sixth-rounder the next year. And the guy who leads the team in scoring—that Swedish sorcerer Erik Karlsson, who’s nearly a lock to win another Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenceman—was nabbed 15th overall at a 2008 draft that, if it was redone today, could possibly see Karlsson go first overall ahead of Steven Stamkos and Drew Doughty.
All that is to say, the Senators’ scouts have had a few big wins over the years.
Of course, if draft day was always that rosy, Ottawa wouldn’t be slugging it out with a bunch of other mushy-middle teams—which describes about 80 per cent of the NHL—for one of the last available playoff spots.
The Senators could use some smaller draft victories to balance out the lineup, and a quick glance at their prospect pipeline reveals some quality NHLers in the making.
Colin White: C, Boston College (NCAA)
Season to date: 18GP | 11G | 16A | 29P | +19
Drafted: First round, 21st overall, 2015
Given how dismally the Canadian juniors performed at the 2016 World Junior Championship in Finland, Colin White may have been the best reason to watch the tournament for fans in Ottawa.
Participating in his first WJC, the Team USA forward registered seven points in seven games, marking four goals and three assists. White kicked off the event with an impressive one-and-one performance during his team’s 4-2 victory over Canada.
Though he doesn’t have imposing size at six-feet and 183 lbs., White—who turns 19 on Jan. 30—has thrived in the NCAA as a freshman and figures to be a top-line fixture for Team USA at next year’s WJC.
Here’s a video of some of the right-shot handiwork White has recorded in the past couple seasons.
Andreas Englund: D, Djurgardens (SEL)
Season to date: 27 GP | 2G | 3A | 5P | +4
Drafted: Second round, 40th overall, 2014
Ottawa forfeited its 2014 first-rounder to Anaheim in the Bobby Ryan trade, but the team is hoping a shrewd second-round selection that year makes the point moot.
If you want to know what the Englund’s game is all about, think of him as a potential left-shot complementary playing partner for his countryman Karlsson, as opposed to being cut from the same offensive cloth.
At six-foot-three, Englund—Sweden’s captain at the WJC—has a long reach, a little edge and good defensive awareness. Englund turns 20 next Thursday and is presently playing his second season in Sweden’s top league. Low on flash, high on efficiency, Englund makes a good first pass and is the kind of steady D-man that can help stabilize any pair.
Have a listen to Senators director of player personnel Pierre Dorion rave about Englund shortly after Ottawa drafted the big Swede.
Thomas Chabot: D, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
Season to Date: 24GP | 7G | 14A | 21P | +13
Drafted: First round, 18th overall, 2015
A member of Canada’s defence corps at the WJC, Chabot is averaging nearly a point-per-game from the back end in his third season of major junior. Chabot—who has the exact same Jan. 30, 1997 birthday as fellow first-rounder Colin White—still has some issues to iron out in his own zone, but it’s tough to find six-foot-two defencemen who can move the needle offensively like this kid.
Here’s an OT winner from Chabot, where he picks up the puck at the opposing blue-line and buries.
Tobias Lindberg: RW, Binghamton (AHL)
Season to date: 26GP | 4G | 14A | 18P | +9
Drafted: Fourth round, 102nd overall, 2013
Lindberg may not be lighting it up during his rookie season in the AHL, but he’s holding his own on a Binghamton Senators squad that isn’t very good.
Lindberg, 20, actually made the jump to North America last year, leaving Sweden to play with the CHL-champion Oshawa Generals. The right winger had a strong season for the Generals and really performed at the Memorial Cup, netting three goals and five points in four contests.
With a six-foot-three, 215-lb frame, Lindberg offers some intriguing upside.
Nick Paul: C, Binghamton (AHL)
Season to date: 35GP | 4G | 9A | 13P | +2
Drafted: Fourth round, 101st overall, 2013 by Dallas
There’s no way around it; Paul’s debut pro season has been a grind.
Acquired from the Dallas Stars in the deal that sent Jason Spezza south, Paul has enviable size at six-foot-four and 223 lbs. The reality, though, is that until his final year of major junior with the North Bay Battalion, Paul didn’t really put up eye-popping offensive numbers.
For now, he can continue to learn the pro game at the AHL level, a process that figures to last into next fall.