Friday, July 28, 2017

31 Teams in 31 Days - Ottawa Senators

Two high quality prospects from the OHL are members of our Nation's capital's hockey team.

1. Logan Brown - Windsor Spitfires
No question, this was not a good year for Logan Brown, Memorial Cup champion or not. He battled numerous injuries (wrist, shoulder, hand) and largely took a bit of a step backward as a potentially dominant center. In the second half of his draft season, he was a dominant force, utilizing his size to carve up the middle of the ice as he wished. Putting defenders on his back, he had the opposition at his mercy. It was that aggressiveness in attacking the net that made him a lottery selection. But before that, he had been an enigma that frustrated scouts because of inconsistency in using his size to play through traffic. This year, whether it was because of the injuries or not, he didn't have that same ferocity to his game. Consistency was once again a major issue. Even in the Memorial Cup, with his team playing for the National Championship, I largely found him to be a relative non factor. Now, keep in mind all of this is coming from someone who is a big fan. If you recall, I had Brown ranked even higher than the Sens took him. And I still greatly believe in his potential as a dominating physical center in today's NHL. But, there's no question that he needs to regain his form and stay healthy next year in Windsor. Really hope he can find that tenacity again. And I think he will, and as such, he'll be a 90+ point player in his final OHL season.

2. Alex Formenton - London Knights
When in doubt, trust the development program that is the London Knights. Formenton is a player who played a lot of different roles for London this year; his first in the OHL. He saw time on the top line where he didn't look out of place, and he was buried on the 4th line for the majority of the 2nd half and playoffs. Speed is his major asset as he's one of the quickest players in the OHL. He also plays with a fearlessness that can't be taught. The rest of his game is a work in progress IMO. The hands and the brain need to catch up to the speed of which he's capable of playing. Would love to see him really develop as a dominant forechecker and penalty killer too. These are things that I think London can draw out of him. So what does next year have in store for him? London isn't graduating too many of it's main forwards, so he'll have to battle again for ice time. But he should at least be a fixture on the 3rd line, with the chance to see powerplay time and even top 6 duty if his play warrants it. I wouldn't be shocked at all if he's a 30 goal scorer next year, although I don't think he'll be a point per game player until his 19/20 year old season in 2018/19.

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