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Senators’ Heart Depth After Free Company – The Hockey Writers – Ottawa Senators

After wanting on the Ottawa Senators’ left-wing and right-wing depth charts, it’s time to transfer to the facilities. Now that the draft, the large wave of free company, and the event camp are throughout, we now have a greater take a look at what the roster goes to seem like when the common season rolls round.

On this third piece of a five-part sequence, we are going to take a look on the heart depth the Senators have, adopted by the protection and goaltending within the coming days. When wanting on the depth, the gamers aren’t essentially listed as they are going to be within the full lineup, fairly only a checklist beginning with one of the best and dealing down in the direction of prospects and American Hockey League (AHL) gamers who could possibly be known as up and given an opportunity. Not each AHL participant will likely be listed, however the ones with a reputable shot of taking part in even just a few video games in 2024-25 are. Some gamers are listed at a number of positions, however will solely be included as soon as, and will probably be the place they performed most of final season or their most well-liked facet.

Heart Depth Chart

The Senators’ depth at heart is by far their strongest group in relation to the forwards. They’ve greater than 4 high quality NHL facilities, so it’s greater than seemingly that a few of them transfer to the wing and enhance the depth in that class. All of those gamers are pure facilities and would like to play heart.

Tim Stutzle

The celebrity of the group, Tim Stutzle, goes to be the highest heart and there isn’t a lot competitors. In 2023-24 he struggled with some damage points all through the entire yr. It was famous after the season concluded that he had a lingering wrist damage because the fourth sport and had different accidents develop over the course of the season, together with his shoulder.

Tim Stutzle, Ottawa Senators (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

After the excessive normal he set for himself in 2022-23 with a 90-point season, his 70 factors final season weren’t as many as anticipated, but when he can go into the 2024-25 season wholesome and stay that approach, he shouldn’t have any drawback reaching the heights he was as soon as at. The largest gap in Stutzle’s sport final season was his goal-scoring capability, particularly on the ability play. He dropped from 39 objectives to 18 final yr and solely scored one purpose with the person benefit. His two-way sport has been up and down, however there isn’t a doubt in any respect that Stutzle is an elite top-line heart.

Josh Norris

Josh Norris, who is probably going probably the most smart participant to maneuver to the wing, has been combating accidents in his younger NHL profession. With three shoulder surgical procedures already, there may be some concern about his capability to play at heart and take faceoffs. On prime of that, there may be doubt that he’s capable of return to the play he displayed in his 35-goal season. After lacking the start of final season, Norris had performed 50 video games earlier than one other shoulder damage ended his season. In that span, he scored 16 objectives and 30 factors however solely a shell of the participant he as soon as was.

The expectation is that he’s going to be prepared for coaching camp, and hopefully this time, with the chance to rise up to hurry with the remainder of the group, he can rejuvenate his play and attain that true top-six heart that he appeared like a assure to be two years in the past.

Shane Pinto

After serving his 41-game suspension in 2023-24, Shane Pinto got here again and proved that he’s greater than prepared for an even bigger function within the group. The suspension in addition to a shoulder damage that held him out of all however 5 video games in 2021-22 has created a bumpy highway for his improvement, however Pinto’s robust two-way play and manufacturing provides the Senators choices. If Norris does transfer to the wing, having Pinto because the second-line heart is possible, particularly after his robust play to finish final season.

Associated: Senators Signal Shane Pinto to 2-Yr Deal

Pinto’s 9 objectives and 27 factors within the final half of the season had been spectacular on condition that he missed a lot time and barely appeared like he missed a step. A full offseason being wholesome, no contract disputes, and on the brink of go ought to result in an awesome begin from Pinto. He’ll seemingly play with two of Drake Batherson, David Perron, or Michael Amadio, and all three might complement his sport very effectively in several methods. The Senators opted for a two-year cope with Pinto this offseason, so he’ll seemingly attempt to play a few of the greatest hockey of his profession to earn an enormous extension after that.

Ridly Greig

After a powerful rookie season scoring 13 objectives and 26 factors, Ridly Greig has emerged as a real top-nine heart, however may be moved to the wing. It is going to both be Norris or Greig to take action, and Greig has expertise on the left facet whereas Norris has been a full-time heart.

Greig brings much more than simply regular depth offense although. He has a superb two-way sport, however not glorious, and his effort degree, tenacity, and physicality are a few of the greatest on all the roster. Greig is a little bit ball of power and brings the whole lot he has every shift. He likes to get underneath the pores and skin of his opponents however has the ability to make the most of offensive alternatives too. A 3rd-line heart function is an ideal place to fit Greig into the lineup.

Zack Ostapchuk

Zack Ostapchuk made his transition to pro-level hockey final season and posted 28 factors in 69 AHL video games, and even earned a seven-game stint within the NHL. He isn’t more likely to be a high-scoring participant, however he performs a really reliable sport and has the pace and physicality to slip into the fourth line and be a significant participant there.

At simply 21 years outdated and one season out of the Western Hockey League (WHL), there’s a good probability he goes to the AHL to start out the season, however he will definitely be in competition for the fourth-line spot in coaching camp and preseason.

Jan Jenik

Jan Jenik was simply acquired in a commerce with the Utah Hockey Membership in change for Egor Sokolov. Jenik has had some incredible showings within the AHL, together with a 47-point yr as a 21-year-old heart. Equally to Sokolov, Jenik wasn’t getting a lot alternative within the NHL along with his membership, however he has proven quite a lot of promise and causes to get his probability.

The Senators might definitely give him an opportunity to crack the lineup, and at 23 years outdated, he could possibly be able to take the step. He’s principally an offensive-minded participant, and with accidents and a commerce request inflicting some setbacks in his improvement, he will likely be pleased to get a contemporary begin in Ottawa.

Stephen Halliday

Whereas it could possibly be an extended shot, there’s a probability that Stephen Halliday will make his NHL debut this season. He was drafted by the Senators within the fourth spherical of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft as a double-over-ager however along with his 6-foot-4 body and glorious playmaking skills, he could possibly be somebody the Senators take a look at in the event that they need to insert some offense on the fourth line.

Halliday has simply 17 video games of pro-level expertise, with 10 common season AHL video games and one other seven within the playoffs. He performed two years within the NCAA the place he scored 77 factors in 78 video games, and hit the bottom operating within the AHL with 5 common season factors and 9 within the playoffs. Halliday could possibly be a steal from the draft and will get an NHL probability sooner fairly than later.

Once more, the middle depth is definitely the strongest among the many three ahead positions, and arguably amongst all positions. They’ve younger gamers who may gain advantage from extra AHL time, however they’ve additionally proven sufficient promise to earn an opportunity within the NHL. This could possibly be one of many extra fascinating storylines to observe for the Senators as they put together for the season.

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Olivia Brown
Olivia Brown
Olivia Brown specializes in soccer, covering MLS, NWSL, and international competitions. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Sports Media. Olivia has written for and ESPN FC, providing thorough coverage and in-depth analysis of the sport.


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