Hey guys, Sven here with our stop in the Capital of Canada for 31 in 31! Over the next month, I will be taking a look at each team’s players to watch out for going into the 2018-19 fantasy hockey season: The 31 in 31 daily segment. This analysis features everything from surefire studs, to sleepers, to prospects that may make an appearance at some point this season. Please let me know if you guys enjoy this type of material! Reminder that the stat totals are from last season.
Mark Stone – 58GP 20-42-62. It is fairly safe to say if the Sens are able to produce any offence this season, it will likely involve Mark Stone. After signing a one-year, high-paying deal for this season, Stone watched as top-caliber teammates Hoffman and Karlsson were traded away. Stone is being shown no love from ESPN’s rankings, as he is ranked right around 150 despite a PPG season last year. I’m not saying Stone will have a team-salvaging season, but 50-60 points is likely still attainable.
Matt Duchene – 82GP 27-32-59. Last season, Ottawa finally completed their quest to land former third-overall pick Duchene, and gave up an arm and a leg to land him (most notably their 2019 first round pick). Ranked stupid low by ESPN (224), Duchene is about where any proven offensive threats for the Sens stops as you go down their lineup. That being said, he and Stone will be able to put up 50-60 points. He is definitely worth gambling on late in your draft.
Ryan Dzingel – 79GP 23-18-41. I hope you are not in a draft so deep that you have to consider taking a Senator that may be beyond first-line. However, Dzingel is on the rise and with the possible promotion up to the top line, he could be one of the few bright spots for the Sens. I’m not saying he will explode for a 70-point season, but we will likely see a new career-high for the 26-year-old. Look to stream Dzingel if he catches fire!
Chris Tierney – 82GP 17-23-40. Fresh off a respectable final season with the Sharks and onto a fresh start in Ottawa, Tierney will have to adapt into a new role with a much younger team. With #2C Pageau out for six months, Tierney will likely end up in the #2C role and may be able to put together a solid season.
Thomas Chabot – 63GP 9-16-25. After a respectable rookie season on the blue line for the Sens, the time for Chabot to step into a large role is now. With captain Karlsson gone to San Jose, Chabot is now the #1D for Ottawa and will likely have to carry a large load this season. While this typically does not bode well for point totals for young defencemen, Chabot demonstrated best at the 2016 WJC that he can be a force offensively. No doubt receiving #1PP time, Chabot can be a worthwhile gamble in deeper leagues, despite the possibility of a Sophomore Slump.
Craig Anderson – 58GP 3.32GAA 926SV%. At 37 years old and pretty much on the same rate of decline as the organization itself, Anderson will look to give everything he has to avoid the Senators losing every game 6-1 this year. Though Senators faithful will appreciate the effort, Anderson is one of the few goaltenders that I have zero interest in drafting.
Brady Tkachuk – NCAA: 40GP 8-23-31. The good news with most of the Sens prospects is that you will see them this season with the big club, given the holes they have to fill before the season begins! The Senators 2018 fourth-overall pick will be fast-tracked to the NHL this season, and will hopefully fill the void left on the left wing. Tkachuk is a big-bodied winger that plays a full 200-foot game and isn’t afraid to throw his weight around.
Filip Chlapik – AHL: 52GP 11-21-32. Fresh off an AHL transition year, 21-year-old Chlapik will likely be relied on to make the jump to the NHL after appearing in 20 games (1-3-4) for the Sens last season. The 2015 second-rounder likely has a locked up roster spot at centre given the injury to Pageau, so look for a respectable but not overwhelming season from him. With a good shot, good vision and a ton of energy, I am confident Tkachuk will blossom into a prominent NHLer. This progress won’t come overnight, but look for him to be an exciting rookie player to watch this season.
Colin White – AHL: 47GP 11-16-27. After a rather underwhelming transition year for White, the 2015 first-rounder has every opportunity to break out into a top-six forward position this season on this young Senators team. His seven goals in the 2016 WJC for the US has shown off his offensive potential in the past, and just needs it to carry over to the Pros with him.
Christian Wolanin – NCAA: 40GP 12-23-35. Wolanin is a 2015 fourth-round pick that has developed nicely during his tenure with North Dakota. With a wide open defensive corps ready for some fresh young faces, Wolanin will likely be given every opportunity to succeed if he makes the Senators.
Logan Brown – OHL: 32GP 22-26-48. At 6’6”, Logan Brown is a towering centreman that the Sens took 11th overall in 2016, and much like these other prospects he will have a great opportunity to crack their roster and get some big-league reps in this season.
Rudolfs Balcers – AHL: 67GP 23-25-48. A fifth-round pick in 2015, Balcers was one of the prospects acquired when the Senators traded Karlsson to San Jose. The Latvian-born winger put up respectable numbers in his first season in the minors, and will likely take this year to continue developing with Belleville (AHL). Though a little undersized, Balcers brings speed to the game and makes finding open space look easy.
Alex Formenton – OHL: 48GP 29-19-48. One of my favourite Sens prospects at the moment, Formenton is a 2017 second-round pick and will likely return to London (OHL) if he doesn’t crack the Sens lineup. The beanpole of a winger was able to put together a PPG season last year, and looked very impressive at the WJC for Team Canada. A big fish, small pond year will allow Formenton to get bigger and put up a great year, as the Sens will have an abundance of prospects on their main roster. He is certainly in the mix to make the team, however it is not the end of the world if he goes back to major-junior.
Drake Batherson – QMJHL: 51GP 29-48-77. Batherson is a 2017 fourth-rounder that put on a show at the most recent WJC, scoring seven goals for Team Canada. Though he will likely spend the year in Belleville transitioning out of major-junior, the 6’1” centre has proven his ability to adapt into different roles. Though putting on a scoring display at the WJC, he put up playmaker-type numbers in the QMJHL. I think he will blossom into a solid NHLer, but the Sens really just won’t need ANOTHER young guy in their lineup. Expect Batherson to have a respectable first season in the AHL.
Josh Norris – NCAA: 37GP 8-15-23. Though I have only been mostly evaluating prospects that are under contract (thank you CapFriendly!), I have seen Norris mentioned in comments so I will take a look at him. A pass-first centreman going into his Sophomore Season with Michigan, Norris has decent size and was a 2017 first-rounder by San Jose, which was likely looked over by most Ottawa fans as he was recently traded to the team. With an accurate shot and some experience at the international level, there is no question I will be watching him closely at the WJC this Winter. I may do some more digging to see what his personal plan is (whether he plays out his NCAA career or makes the jump to the NHL soon), but only time will tell!