Hey guys! Over the next month, I will be taking a look at each team’s players to watch out for going into the 2019-20 fantasy hockey season. This analysis features everything from surefire studs, to sleepers, to streamers, deeper league holds, even to rookie-eligible 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.
Last year my previews went alphabetically, but this year we’re going to go division-by-division, starting with the top team. On our 23rd stop on the 31 in 31 tour, we’re heading to the capital of Canada to check on the Sens! Though it has been a rough past couple of seasons for Sens faithful, things are certainly looking up now. With the prospect cupboard packed with players that will have every chance to play this season, what’s there not to love from the fantasy perspective?
SURE-FIRE STUDS: Thomas Chabot (70GP 14-41-55)
Chabot really came out of nowhere after he was given the true #1D role following Karlsson’s departure. 55 points in year two is no joke, and if you can deal with the +/- of playing on one of the league’s worst teams, Chabot is a no brainer #2 Fantasy D for me. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the conversation for #1 Fantasy D once the team around him takes shape a little more.
SVEN’S SLEEPER: Colin White (71GP 14-27-41)
There will be a lot of growing pains here, but Colin White will be Ottawa’s #1C this season. What does that mean? Consistent play time with Chucky, all of the special teams ice he can handle, and a year of getting lots of offensive zone starts. I think we see a great point increase here, and he’s ranked 229th on ESPN so feel free to wait on him in most leagues.
HOLDS: Brady Tkachuk (71GP 22-23-45)
The first-year Senator proved he was ready to play at the NHL level last season, posting a very impressive campaign. The only thing keeping me from considering the youngest of two current Tkachuk NHLers is the possibility of the Sophomore Slump. Having guys like Stone and Duchene around last season was a huge help, but at the same time he is going to play SO much this season I don’t see why he won’t crack 50, even 60 points in year two.
STREAMERS: Anthony Duclair (74GP 19-14-33)
On his fourth team in six years now, I would imagine Duclair’s only guidance this season is just to go out and play. He has a ton of skill, and had a nice little run with Ottawa when he was traded at the deadline (21GP 8-6-14). How well he gels with center Chris Tierney and Bobby “he’ll get us to the floor!” Ryan will determine how his season goes. I see streaming potential for this line, but I’ve gotta see them mesh first.
PROSPECT PIPELINE: Drake Batherson (AHL: 59GP 22-40-62)
Batherson will (eventually) be given all kinds of opportunity with this young forward corps, but for now it looks like he’s penciled in at #3W. He’s proven he was too good for the AHL, but whether or not he puts up points at the big league level will entirely depend on his line mates. Unless he gets put on the top line, I wouldn’t touch him this season.
Erik Brannstrom (AHL: 50GP 7-25-32)
The key return piece in the Mark Stone trade, Brannstrom is an elite defenceman that is only going to get better the more he ages. I’m not sure if he’s quite ready for big NHL play time just yet, but he made the team out of camp so we’ll see where this one goes. He should grab some PP2 time while he’s up in Ottawa so streamers take note, but if he gets off to a rough start once Christian Wolanin returns from injury I think he’ll be sent back to Belleville (AHL) pretty quickly.
Logan Brown (AHL: 56GP 14-28-42)
After a strong first pro season in the AHL, Brown didn’t make the big club out of camp. Despite his 6’6 frame and clear playmaking ability, the Sens are surprisingly deep at Centre. Perhaps he migrates to the wing at some point this season and earns a call-up, he would be one of the first guys in line if someone with the big club gets injured.
Josh Norris (NCAA: 17GP 10-9-19)
Norris is a first-rounder of San Jose (another asset acquired in a trade) who had a strong showing in a small sample size with Michigan (NCAA) this past season. The quicker this kid develops, the better GM Pierre Dorion looks simple as that. He’ll make the jump from college to Belleville (AHL) this season and will likely compete with ice time almost immediately with fellow former first rounder Brown. I think it will take him a bit to transition, but we could see him in an Ottawa jersey come second-half.
Alex Formenton (OHL: 31GP 13-21-34)
With ten NHL games under his belt, it must feel weird for Formenton to be starting in the AHL. The 2017 secound-rounder had a strong showing last season in London (OHL), but played less than half of the season. My thoughts is he’ll continue to fine-tune his game in the minors and truly transition into a pro, and earn a call-up sooner than later. They clearly like him if he’s had some games in the past, but we’ll see what this season holds for Formy.
Lassi Thomson (WHL: 63GP 17-24-41)
Thomson is Ottawa’s most recent first-rounder, and will play his first pro season in Finland. He shows a ton of offensive upside and the Sens can rest easy knowing he’ll gain a full season playing against men this year, but they’re hoping his development goes the Miro Heiskanen route, not the Olli Juolevi route. Only time will tell, but I will keep my eye on this kid going forward.
Olle Alsing (SHL: 49GP 4-11-15)
I just thought I should bring this guy up because through six games with Djurgardens (SHL) this season, he has six points. I dug a little deeper, and he is just some 23-year-old Ottawa signed out of Europe. I like this a lot, and I hope he lights it up this season and comes into training camp next year vying for a roster spot.