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2018-2019 NHL Preview: Ottawa Senators

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What will become of Erik Karlsson

Ottawa Senators v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

In this 31 part series, I will be working my way back from 31st to 1st in my projected 2017-2018 standings. Fourth up are the Ottawa Senators who are in their 46thyear as a franchise. They missed the playoffs last year after making it to the Eastern Conference finals in 2016-2017 where they lost to the Penguins in 7 games.

2017 – 2018 NHL Stats:

NHL Standings: 30th

Goals for Rank: 25th

Goals against Rank: 30th

PP Rank: 27th

PK Rank: 27th

Projected 2018-2019 NHL Stats

NHL Standings: 28th

Eastern Conference Standings: 15th

Atlantic Division Standings: 8th

Coach: Guy Boucher (2nd season in Ottawa) (72-71-21 in regular season ; 11-8 in the playoffs)

Overview:

A severe fall from graces as they went from a goal away from the Stanley Cup finals one season down to 2nd to last the next. They were 24th in by shots for and 26th in shots against (bad CORSI there). Erik Karlsson’s ultimate destination remains to be the elephant in the room. It looks now like he will be leaving and the final price is the remaining determinant. IF he leaves and Mike Hoffman is now gone it will rest on Mark Stone and Matt Duchene to pick up the slack, they scored a combined 111 points last year which is respectable but I fear there is not enough depth on this team to really go the distance. Oddly enough, their 2nd line of Brady Tkachuk, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Ryan Dzingel has enough promise to be a good force late this season early next. Brady and Ryan are on the rise but still have some maturation in their game (for Brady, he has not played an NHL game yet). On defense, Thomas Chabot and Erik Karlsson are great but beyond that I have little faith in Christian Wolanain, Mark Borowiecki and Cody Ceci. In net Craig Anderson seems to have peaks and valleys year over year, one would think he could rise back up to prominence next season after a paltry 3.32 GAA and .898 SV% but he won’t have a ton of support in front of him. If Craig is on the late years, Mike Condon might start to step in but his 3.25 GAA and .902 sv% was not much better last season. I see no shame in the Senators taking another season to rebuild with some of the young talent (Brady Tkachuck, Colin White, Thomas Chabot, Ryan Dzingel) that is getting their NHL leagues beneath them.

Major Additions:

Mikkel Boedker

Major Subtractions:

Mike Hoffman

Prospects and Picks:

-Logan Brown. He played four games last season and had one assist. Meanwhile he sits in the OHL just dropping points left and right. He had 40 points in 35 games two seasons ago and a combined 48 points across 27 games playing for both Windsor Spitfires and Kitchener Rangers. There isn’t anything left to prove there, he is either in the AHL or cracking the squad with the pros this year. He certainly has the speed and size to make it in the big leagues. Sitting at 6’6 and 215lbs he is a tall drink of water.

-Brady Tkachuk. If you have not read any of my draft pieces I’ll let you know now, I am very bullish on any and all Tkachuk players. I said it when Matthew was drafted that he had the pedigree and desire to make it as a star of the league and I think Brady has the potential to be even better. Ottawa has a franchise player here as he develops.

Sleeper Fantasy Asset:

-Brady Tkachuk. His brother scored 48 points and 13 goals across 76 games his first year. Are you in a league that awards PIM? Matthew had 105 his first year and while Brady won’t be the physical force his brother is, I think he can actually contribute more on the points sheet (even if he has maybe half the PIM Matthew had). If they let him play the whole season he will be a good producer from day one. Brady had 31 points in 40 games last year at Boston University and he scored basically a point per game in his time with the US National Development team and International play as they took the Gold in U18 play and the WJC where he landed a Bronze medal.

Cap Situation:

$60MM Spent; $15M in Cap room; 21 players signed; average team age 28

Poll

Will Erik Karlsson be with the Senators at Christmas?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Yes he will still be with Ottawa
    (13 votes)
  • 65%
    No he will be on a different team
    (25 votes)
38 votes total Vote Now