The Ottawa Senators: Year in Review
After making the playoffs this past season when many felt that was unlikely, it is hard to be overly critical of the Ottawa Senators after their disappointing performance in the post season. It was an up and down season that ultimately finished on a down but don’t disregard the many positives.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the season was the return of Gustav Nyquist. After missing the entire previous season due to injury, The Crumb put together one of the greatest seasons in franchise history. His 29 goals and 51 assists for 80 points were among the league leaders and will certainly give him some consideration for the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player. “Whether or not the League acknowledges Gustav’s season, we know we weren’t a playoff team without him”, GM Steve Downs told reporters at his season’s end press conference.
Other key additions to the Sens were Centres Yanni Gourde and Adam Henrique. Gourde joined the team as a UFA and Henrique was acquired via a trade during the preseason. Both brought stability to the centre position.
The only disappointment for the Sens this past season was starting goalie Tristan Jarry. His struggles early on were abysmal. It wasn’t until late in the season when Jarry was finally able to get his goals against under 3.00 and his save % above .900. The way the Sens were scoring average goaltending would have had the Sens easily at the top of the league. After many pundits around the league felt the Sens had stolen Jarry from Washington in a trade that saw two second round draft picks and a third being sent to nab the starting goalie, GM Downs had to be clearly worried he had overpaid.
Up next for GM Downs will be the draft. However, this year will see the team likely with fewer picks then what fans are used to. At this point the Sens have a second-round pick, Vegas’ fourth round pick, two sixth round picks and a seventh. The Sens have a plethora of young prospects so fewer picks likely won’t be too much of an issue.
In Free Agency the Sens will likely be in the market for a Defenceman or two to replace Marco Scandello and Anton Stralman whose contracts expire this offseason. It is not clear if the Sens will attempt to resign Alex Killorn who is also a free agent this summer. The Sens may look to promote Cole Perfetti and J.J. Peterka to the big club and give rookie Dawson Mercer more opportunity in the top 6. Other young players that will be making their mark on the franchise over the next few seasons will be Jakob Pelletier, Fabian Lysell, Carson Lambos, Stanislav Svozil and 2022 second overall pick Juraj Slafkovsky. With all these quality young players in the system it was nice to see the organization move forward this year. It will be interesting to see what happens this upcoming season for this growing organization.