Senators Top 20 prospects, Fall 2007

By Derek Cheng

Thanks to the near decade-long string of success, there is a clear lack of elite-level talent in the Senators prospect ranks, but there are still a number of players with NHL potential. The Senators are extremely deep at center and have a handful of skilled puck-moving defensemen in the system, including Brian Lee, Ottawa’s only top ten pick since 2001. There are also several prospects that have leadership qualities and captaincy potential in the future, including Nick Foligno, son of former NHLer Mike Foligno and alternate captain with Sudbury in 2006-07. The addition of 2007 second round pick Ruslan Bashkirov gives the team another good prospect on right wing, but there is still a lack of depth in that area. The Senators also lack goaltending depth, though Brian Elliott continues to develop well. Josh Hennessy remains the top prospect and is the most likely to vie for full-time duty with Ottawa in 2007-08. There was some shuffling in the rest of the top 20 and five new players made the list, including all four 2007 draft picks. Falling off the list are Michal Barinka, Jeff Glass, and ef=”/prospects/arttu_luttinen” id=”HFlink” class=”HFlinkstyle”>Arttu Luttinen.

Only one player from the top 20 played for Binghamton in 2006-07. This season, Ottawa’s farm club should be much improved, with 11 of the top 20 prospects expected to play there.

Top 20 at a glance
1. (1) Josh Hennessy, C
2. (3) Nick Foligno, LW
3. (2) Brian Lee, D
4. (4) Igor Mirnov, C
5. (7) Ilya Zubov, C
6. (NR) Jim O’Brien, C
7. (6) Brian Elliott, G
8. (9) Kaspars Daugavins, LW
9. (5) Kirill Lyamin, D
10. (11) Alexander Nikulin, C
11. (NR) Ruslan Bashkirov, RW
12. (8) Shawn Weller, LW
13. (13) Tomas Kudelka, D
14. (20) Peter Regin, C
15. (NR) Louie Caporusso, LW
16. (14) Cody Bass, C
17. (12) Vitaly Anikeyenko, D
18. (NR) Mattias Karlsson, D
19. (18) Erik Condra, RW
20. (NR) Ben Blood, D

Key: Rank, (Previous Rank), Name, Position, Grade

1. (1) Josh Hennessy, C

Age: 22
Acquired: Trade with Chicago 2006 (San Jose – 2nd round, 43rd overall, 2003)

Hennessy holds his title as the Senators top prospect and has the potential to become a significant part of Ottawa’s future. He is entering the final year of his contract and barring a major disappointment, should make the starting roster out of camp. Hennessy spent the majority of 2006-07 with Binghamton and had a strong year. Although Binghamton finished dead last in the AHL, Hennessy had a strong campaign, ending up second on the team with 27 goals and 57 points in 76 games, similar output to his rookie season. While many of his teammates had negative double-digit plus/minuses, Hennessy was a respectable -5. He played a significant role for the team and was on the ice for power plays, scoring eight goals, penalty kills, scoring four goals, as well as getting top line minutes at even strength. Hennessy made his NHL debut in December 2006 and notched his first career goal versus Philadelphia in early January. He played 10 games with Ottawa in total. Hennessy’s primary strength is his skating ability. He possesses all the tools necessary to become a solid two-way forward at the NHL level and is the most experienced prospect on the Top 20 list.

NHL Upside: second line, two-way, hard-working, skilled forward

2. (3) Nick Foligno, LW

Age: 19
Acquired: 1st round, 28th overall, 2006

Skilled, gritty, and versatile, with good bloodlines, Foligno has paid his dues in the OHL and demonstrated he can lead, play a hard-nosed brand of hockey, and be productive. An alternate captain for Sudbury, Foligno improved his numbers for a third straight season, leading the team with 31 goals and 56 assists in 66 games. He also showed a well-rounded game, complimenting his better than a point-per-game average with 135 penalty minutes and a +13 rating in the regular season. Foligno carried the momentum into the playoffs, matching his season pace by scoring 12 goals and assisting on 17 others in 21 games. His point total combined with a rugged style and a +14 rating made him a key factor in Sudbury’s trip to the OHL finals. Foligno has a good combination of skill and grit. He has the ability to put the puck in the net, a willingness to get his nose dirty, play physical, and work hard in the corners. He signed an entry-level contract and will attend training camp this fall. He has a shot at going straight to the NHL, but very few are ready for that.  It may be prudent to let him develop in the minors. He’s penciled in as a top six forward for Binghamton and could be an injury call-up.

NHL Upside: second line, versatile, well-rounded, gritty forward

3. (2) Brian Lee, D

Age: 20
Acquired: 1st round, 9th overall, 2005

Thanks to the lockout year and weighted lottery system, the Senators landed the ninth pick in 2005 and selected Lee. Considered an offensive-minded defenseman, Lee spent the 2006-07 season focusing on improving his defensive game as well as adding some muscle. He did just that in his second year at the University of North Dakota, shaking off concerns that his game is limited to finesse. Lee played a much more all-around game and even finished second on the team with 67 penalty minutes. He led the Fighting Sioux to a third-place finish and ended the season with two goals, 24 assists and 26 points in 38 games. For a third straight year, Lee was also part Team USA at the WJCs, this time helping the squad to a bronze medal, though he played a more limited role. Lee’s size and style of play are well suited for the NHL. He can play in all situations, moves the puck well, and is adept at joining the rush. Having signed an entry-level contract with Ottawa recently, Lee will forego his remaining years with North Dakota and turn pro. He will attend camp and likely start the season as one of Binghamton’s top defenders.

NHL Upside: first or second pair, puck-moving defenseman, power-play specialist

4. (4) Igor Mirnov, C

Age: 22
Acquired: 2nd round, 67th overall, 2003

The Senators have been patient with Mirnov, who was drafted in 2003. He has developed well in the RSL, spending the last five seasons with Dynamo and emerging as one of their top players. Mirnov has agreed to a one-year deal with Dynamo for the 2007-08 season, but there have been reports of problems with the coaching staff leaving a small possibility he could still come over to North America. In 2006-07, Mirnov enjoyed a breakout year, tallying 21 goals and 24 assists in 48 games. His point total was good enough for third in the RSL. He also racked up 46 penalty minutes. Mirnov is a left-hand shot who likes play the right side and is a natural goal scorer combining an excellent shot with tremendous speed. He still lacks strength and does not play a physical game, making him more suited for a top six forward position. With Ottawa’s immense depth in that area, it may be difficult for him to crack the lineup, but his offensive skills are clearly NHL caliber. With training camp just around the corner and Mirnov still unsigned, it appears that Ottawa will have to wait another year before trying to bring him over.
NHL Upside: first or second line, skilled offensive forward

5. (7) Ilya Zubov, C

Age: 20
Acquired: 4th round, 98th overall, 2005

Zubov was projected as a potential first-rounder but slipped to the fourth round. Considered a safe pick, Zubov has developed extremely well, becoming a solid player in the RSL. He is possibly Ottawa’s most highly skilled offensive prospect with natural scoring and playmaking ability. Zubov finished the 2006-07 season with 12 points in 42 games, playing for Khimik Mytischi (16 games) and Salavat Yulayev Ufa (26 games). He followed up the regular season with a terrific performance in the playoffs, notching five points in eight games, while going +4. Zubov has also been a star with the Russian national team. At the 2006 WJCs, Zubov scored three goals and assisted on another as Russia captured the silver medal. In all, Zubov has been extremely productive in international tournament play, helping Russia win two silver medals. Zubov is an extremely gifted offensive forward who combines a smooth stride with exceptional stickhandling ability. His performance at Ottawa’s development camp in July impressed the Senators brass and he signed an entry-level contract shortly after. He will likely start his career with Binghamton and has the potential to become a dangerous top-six forward in the foreseeable future.

NHL Upside: first or second line, skilled offensive forward

6. (NR) Jim O’Brien, C

Age: 18
Acquired: 1st round, 29th overall, 2007

O’Brien is still very raw, but he already uses his size and strength to his advantage, making him a potential prototypical power forward. Complimented by a solid 6’2 frame, O’Brien has terrific vision and offensive instincts. He is versatile and useful in all areas of the ice, including the defensive zone. His intelligence, positioning, and willingness to block shots have helped him become an excellent defensive forward and penalty killer. In 2006-07, he was the youngest player in the NCAA and a freshman at the University of Minnesota. He played a minor role on a deep Gophers team and registered 15 points and 51 penalty minutes in 43 games. He was also a key contributor in USA’s silver medal at the U18 WCs, scoring three goals and four assists in seven games. O’Brien was expected to play a bigger role for the Gophers this fall, potentially even seeing some time on defense. But just weeks prior to the opening of training camps, O’Brien signed an entry-level contract with Ottawa and left the Gophers to join the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL.

NHL Upside: first or second line, two-way, power forward

7. (6) Brian Elliott, G

Age: 22
Acquired: 9th round, 291st overall, 2003

The second to last selection in 2003 has come a long way and is on track as a top prospect. Having played out his college eligibility at the University of Wisconsin, Elliott signed a contract with Ottawa and will turn pro this fall, likely kicking off his career as Binghamton’s No. 1 goaltender. Elliott already has eight games of AHL experience having played there after the Badgers were eliminated from the playoffs in 2007. Elliott finished up a terrific NCAA career with Wisconsin, posting a 12-16-2 record, including four shutouts, to go along with a 2.15 GAA and a .921 save percentage. His numbers were not as spectacular as the season prior, when he was virtually unbeatable, but they were still highly respectable considering the team was not as strong. Elliott is a big, butterfly style goaltender who covers a lot of net. His best asset is his quickness, which he combines with strong lateral movement and positioning. With Kelly Guard out of the picture and Jeff Glass not developing as expected, Elliott is the Senators goaltender of the future.

NHL Upside: solid backup or 1B goaltender

8. (9) Kaspars Daugavins, LW

Age: 19
Acquired: 3rd round, 91st overall, 2006

Daugavins was selected third overall in the 2006 CHL import draft. After coming to North America, he adjusted quickly with the St. Michael’s Majors, becoming a star player and one of the few bright spots on the team. Despite the Majors finishing dead last in the OHL Eastern Conference, Daugavins produced at nearly a point-per-game pace finishing with 18 goals and 60 points in 61 games, good for sixth among rookies in the OHL. He had some very impressive streaks during the season including a six-game span where he recorded 14 points. With the Majors missing the playoffs, Daugavins was given an opportunity to play at the AHL level with Binghamton and recorded two goals in 11 games. An excellent all-around player with skating ability and puck skills, Daugavins is extremely passionate and wears his heart on his sleeve. Having signed a contract with Ottawa, Daugavins will begin his career in Binghamton this fall. He has the tools, the size, the work ethic, and the attitude to become a consistent two-way player in the NHL. During the Senators Development camp, Daugavins was one of the standouts, often looking like a poised veteran.

NHL Upside: second line, two way, all-round skilled forward

9. (5) Kirill Lyamin, D

Age: 21
Acquired: 2nd round, 58th overall, 2004

Lyamin was projected to be a late first-round pick in 2004, but a rib cage injury suffered in his draft year caused him to miss significant time and he was not selected until the latter stages of the second round. He has spent his entire career in Russia, most recently playing for CSKA Moscow in the RSL registering eight points and 48 penalty minutes in 47 games. Lyamin possesses a projectable frame and was hailed as one of the strongest players in his draft class. He plays a very aggressive game, something uncommon among most Russian players. A very consistent defensive rearguard, Lyamin has a fluid stride with good acceleration and lateral movement. His heavy shot, though rarely used, along with good passing skills and vision, demonstrate potential offensive upside to his game. Overall, Lyamin is a solid package and could become a reliable NHL defenseman. He slides down the list several notches, but remains Ottawa’s second best defense prospect. Lyamin has yet to agree to terms with Ottawa and has no North American experience. He will remain in the RSL for 2007-08 having signed a contract with Khimik Mytischi.

NHL Upside:  second pair, reliable defensive defenseman

10. (11) Alexander Nikulin, C

Age: 21
Acquired: 4th round, 122nd overall, 2004

Senators chief scout Frank Jay pegged Nikulin as being the fourth best Russian player in his draft year. He has spent his entire career thus far in Russia playing in CSKA Moscow’s organization. He moved through the ranks quickly going from Russia’s Division 3 league to the RSL in 2004-05. After a breakout year in 2005-06, Nikulin’s development was stalled when he sustained a collarbone injury, sidelining him for a couple months. He finished the 2006-07 season with 16 points in 33 games. Nikulin has average size, but plays the game with an edge, making him well suited for the North American brand of hockey. A tireless worker with an excellent wrist shot, Nikulin is a creative player and excels at generating opportunities for his linemates. Having signed a contract with Ottawa, Nikulin will compete for an NHL roster spot this fall, but will likely wind up in Binghamton to start his career. It has been reported that Nikulin is open to playing in the AHL, understanding that this is a step in the development process. He should fit in nicely as a second or third line center with Binghamton.

NHL Upside: second line, two-way, hard-working grinder

11. (NR) Ruslan Bashkirov, RW

Age: 18
Acquired: 2nd round, 60th overall, 2007

The Bashkirov twins, both selected in the first round of the 2006 CHL import draft, left Russia to play for the Quebec Remparts in 2006-07. They both adjusted quickly, with Ruslan in particular showing strong potential. He finished the season with 30 goals and 67 points to go along with 117 penalty minutes and a +11 rating in 64 games. Ruslan was invited to the CHL Top Prospects Game in January 2007 and made a lasting impression, scoring two goals and earning his team’s Player of the Game award. He also scored a goal and added three assists in five playoff games. When he was still available late in the second round, Ottawa decided to take a chance on him. His twin brother Roman was not drafted. The Senators were expecting Ruslan to continue developing in Quebec, but the twins, upset that both were not drafted, left North America and signed five-year pacts with AK Bars in Russia. Ironically, it soon became evident that the twins would not see much playing time on a deep Kazan team and they were released. With Quebec having drafted two new Europeans in the import draft, the twins are ineligible to return there.

NHL Upside: second line, offensive winger

12. (8) Shawn Weller, LW

Age: 21
Acquired: 3rd round, 77th overall, 2004

The strides Weller made in 2006-07 allowed him to skip his final year of NCAA and turn pro, signing an entry-level contract with Ottawa. Weller’s three-year career at Clarkson University culminated in a stellar 19-goal, 40-point performance in 2006-07, accomplished in 39 games. He led the team in goals, points, and tied for second with 62 penalty minutes. He also improved his defensive game, finishing with a +12 rating, positive for the first time in his NCAA career. After Clarkson’s season ended, Weller played five games with Binghamton. A very strong skater with an excellent motor and top gear, Weller handles and protects the puck well. He added decent strength and size to his frame since being drafted and he possesses a tenacious work ethic along with his skill set. More a playmaker than a goal scorer, Weller excels along the boards and has impressive vision, capable of threading the needle to create scoring opportunities. His NHL future will depend on his offensive development in the AHL. He could potentially become an offensive forward who can crash, bang and score. Failing that, he could be a depth grinder type winger who brings energy, consistency, passion and determination to the team.

NHL Upside: second line, two-way, playmaking forward

13. (13) Tomas Kudelka, D

Age: 20
Acquired: 5th round, 136th overall, 2005

Kudelka was selected 45th overall in the CHL import draft by the Lethbridge Hurricanes the same year he was drafted by the Ottawa Senators. After a disappointing 2004-05 campaign, Kudelka has made positive strides since coming to North America. He had an impressive rookie campaign with Lethbridge and received an entry-level contract from Ottawa. In 2006-07, Kudelka played in 59 games and saw a ton of ice time in all situations including the power play and penalty kill. Despite the Hurricanes’ losing record, Kudelka posted an impressive +20 rating while leading Lethbridge defensemen in goals with 14 and coming second in points with 41. With the Hurricanes missing the playoffs, Kudelka went to Binghamton for his second stint and picked up a goal and two assists in 11 games. Although still prone to occasional turnovers, Kudelka has demonstrated excellent hockey sense. He has a good package of size, speed and skill. The smooth skating, offensive-minded rearguard is still a few seasons away, especially given Ottawa’s depth on the blueline, but his steady strides bode well for a potential future in the NHL. He is slotted to be a top six defenseman for Binghamton this season.

NHL Upside: second pair, puck-moving two-way defenseman, power-play quarterback

14. (20) Peter Regin, C

Age: 21
Acquired: 3rd round, 87th overall, 2004

Regin is a rare product of Danish Hockey. In his first full season with Herning Bluefox, Regin displayed outstanding talent level, despite being just 17 years old at the time. The former Danish League Rookie of the Year has been one of the best players for the Danish International team. In 2005-06, Regin moved out of the Danish League and established himself as a true NHL prospect with Timra in the SEL. After a respectable rookie campaign, Regin followed up with better numbers in 2006-07, notching nine goals and seven assists in 51 games. In the playoffs, Regin played a key role tallying four points in seven matches. He also participated in the 2007 World Cup in Moscow where he was clearly the best player on the Danish team, scoring three goals and three assists while playing on the first line with Frans Nielsen and Kim Staal. Regin has terrific vision and is a poised puckhandler and passer. He has the potential to become a solid offensive player, but needs more experience at higher levels and must bulk up as well as improve his defensive game. Still several years away, Regin will need an adjustment period when he arrives in North America.

NHL Upside: second line, skilled, playmaking forward

15. (NR) Louie Caporusso, LW

Age: 18
Acquired: 3rd round, 90th overall, 2007

Ottawa Director of Amateur Scouting Frank Jay was adamant that the Senators select Caporusso, who spent the past two seasons with St. Michael’s in the OPJRA. An offensive wizard at the Junior ‘A’ level, Caporusso has tallied 52 goals and 123 points in 85 games over two seasons. In 2006-07, Caporusso helped the Buzzers to a remarkable 33-9-7 record.  He finished second on the team in goals (23) and led in assists (27) and points (50), despite playing in just 37 games.  When the playoffs rolled around, Caporusso continued to pile up the points, scoring 14 goals and 19 assists in 20 games, leading the Buzzers to the finals.  He has an obvious size disadvantage (5’9, 185), but possesses extremely soft hands and terrific speed. He is shifty, slick and elusive, making him difficult for defenders to handle. Caporusso will attend University of Michigan this fall and Ottawa has the depth to wait for him to develop properly. If he can bulk up considerably and improve his all-around skills, he has the talent to be an offensive forward in the NHL.

NHL Upside: second line, speedy, offensive winger

16. (14) Cody Bass, C

Age: 20
Acquired: 4th round, 95th overall, 2005

Bass began the season as the captain and heart and soul of the Mississauga Ice Dogs. But after producing just 16 points through 23 games while playing on the team’s top line, the Ice Dogs shipped him to Saginaw. Bass’ arrival in Saginaw made them an instant contender. He was more appropriately assigned to a third line checking role, but still garnered considerable ice time as a top penalty killer and defensive forward. Bass also improved his offensive output, tallying 29 points in 30 games.  After the quick and disappointing end to Saginaw’s season, Bass went to Binghamton for his second stint. He now has 13 games of AHL experience over the past two seasons. With his junior career coming to an end, Bass will look to land a full-time roster spot in Binghamton this season. He is an excellent two-way center and a natural-born leader. A slick combination of size and speed, Bass is capable of playing in all situations.

NHL Upside: third line, defensive forward, penalty-kill specialist

17. (12) Vitaly Anikeyenko, D

Age: 20
Acquired: 3rd round, 70th overall, 2005

Possessing good size and significant natural talent, including a powerful shot, vision and intelligence, Anikeyenko remains a decent prospect for the Senators. Drafted in 2004, Anikeyenko has spent his entire career thus far in Russia, primarily with Yaroslavl. After graduating from Yaroslavl’s farm team in 2004-05, Anikeyenko has been a mainstay with the RSL club. Over the past two seasons, he has developed nicely, but still needs to make better use of his 6’3, 194-pound frame. In 2006-07, Anikeyenko picked up four points, 16 penalty minutes, and was a -6 through 25 games. He was also part of Russia’s WJC squad. He remains unsigned and has yet to taste the North American brand of hockey. Still several years away from potential NHL duty, Anikeyenko will spend more time developing with Yaroslavl. He does not have much offensive upside to speak of, but could become a reliable defensive defenseman in the future.

NHL Upside: second or third pair, reliable defensive defenseman

18. (NR) Mattias Karlsson, D

Age: 22
Acquired: 4th round, 135th overall, 2003

Karlsson flew under the radar for several years. Drafted in 2003, Karlsson has spent his career playing in the Swedish leagues. He has played at all levels, most recently in the Division 2 Allsvenskan league with Bofors. In 2006-07, Karlsson had a breakout career year, finishing with 11 goals, 21 assists, 34 penalty minutes, and a +3 rating in 44 games. He scored five of his 11 goals on the power play. Karlsson is an offensive minded defenseman possessing good size and has recently added an aggressive, physical aspect to his game. He isn’t afraid to use his 6’2, 192-pound frame to hit opposing players and has improved his overall defensive play. Strong passing and shooting skills contribute to his offensive production, but he still needs to work on his foot speed and mobility. Karlsson’s career year did not go unnoticed by the Senators brass and he signed an entry-level contract in early June 2007. After a decent showing at the development camp, Karlsson is expected to make the full transition and compete for a top six defense position with Binghamton this fall.

NHL Upside: second or third pair, two-way defenseman, power-play quarterback

19. (18) Erik Condra, RW

Age: 21
Acquired: 7th round, 211th overall, 2006

A late pick in 2006, Condra has developed nicely and has become a good prospect with NHL potential despite a diminutive frame. After a strong freshman year in which he led Notre Dame in scoring, was named Rookie of the Year, and made the CCHA All-Rookie Team, Condra followed up with an even better sophomore year. He once again led the team in scoring, this time racking up 48 points in 42 games, while posting a +22 rating in the process. His final eight points were picked up in four playoff games. A crafty playmaker with patience, poise, and confidence, Condra is excellent in the offensive zone. He plays a high intensity game and is a strong skater making it very difficult for opposing players to contain him. Despite his lack of size, Condra does not tend to shy away from physical play and excels at grinding along the boards. With two years of college eligibility left, Ottawa will likely give Condra all the time he needs to develop properly. If he can add much needed body strength, he could become a feisty speedster with offensive upside.

NHL Upside: second or third line, speedy, energy forward

20. (NR) Ben Blood, D

Age: 18
Acquired: 4th round, 120th overall, 2007

At just 18 years of age, Ben Blood already possesses the size to be an NHL defenseman. Now he needs to grow into his frame and develop his natural skills. Considered a safe pick by the Senators, who took him with their fourth selection in 2007, Blood is a very promising prospect. He spent the past two seasons at Shattuck-St. Mary’s High School, renowned for developing NHL talent. In 2006-07, he finished the season with 36 points and 144 penalty minutes in 63 games. Blood caught the eye of many scouts with his strong play in all zones and ability to play in any situation. He is an excellent power-play quarterback, possessing a heavy accurate slap shot as well as a quick release wrist shot. Blood is committed to play at the University of North Dakota in 2007-08, another school renowned for producing talented hockey players. Though he is somewhat of a long-term project, Blood’s size and upside make him one of Ottawa’s better defense prospects. At the 2007 development camp, Blood played extremely well, showcasing his potential.

NHL Upside: second or third pair, two-way defenseman, power-play quarterback

Missing the cut

Eric Gryba, D

Age: 19
Acquired: 3rd round, 68th overall, 2006

Gryba completed his freshman year at Boston University in 2007-08. He played well, registering four points in 38 games and should continue to develop under coach Jack Porter. He demonstrated strong defensive play and physical presence, finishing with 76 penalty minutes and a +4 rating. Possessing a massive 6’4, 215-pound frame, Gryba has the ability to obliterate opponents with hits. He needs to develop his movement and acceleration as he is a below average skater. Gryba possesses a decent shot and makes good outlet passes, but needs fine-tuning to improve his game. He has the tools to become a solid defenseman in the NHL. Gryba falls off the list to make room for other defensemen with slightly more upside.

NHL Upside: second or third pair, physical defensive defenseman

Dimitri Megalinsky, D

Age: 22

A product of Molot Prikamye’s hockey system, Megalinsky has spent several seasons with Yaroslavl’s organization before moving to Voskresensk in Russia’s second division. In 2006-07, he registered 11 points and 34 penalty minutes in 32 games. Megalinsky is a hard-hitting physical player who uses his imposing frame to deliver bone-crushing open-ice hits. He fights very hard along the boards and is extremely responsible in his own end. Megalinsky sometimes has the tendency to get too physical, winding up in the penalty box for irresponsible over-aggressive plays. Apart from learning to play with more discipline, Megalinsky also needs to improve on his average skating ability. Though he lacks speed and mobility, he does have good balance, a terrific slap shot, great vision, and soft hands. He has the potential to develop into a two-way, hard-hitting defenseman. 

NHL Upside: second or third pair, physical, hard-hitting defenseman

Jim McKenzie, RW

Age: 23
Acquired: 5th round, 141st overall, 2004

After developing for three years at University of Michigan, McKenzie signed an entry-level contract with Ottawa. In his final year, he registered 30 points, 56 penalty minutes and a +8 rating in 36 games. McKenzie possesses good finishing skills and is capable of making solid passes. He has great vision on the ice and can play a physical brand of hockey if need be. He has been known to throw down the gloves from time to time and isn’t afraid to use his solid 6’2, 209 frame. Drafted in 2004, McKenzie has had ample time to hone his skills at the college level. Now he will need to step up and show he can compete as a pro. McKenzie will likely skate for Binghamton this season.

NHL Upside: third line, hard-working, utility forward

Notes

Neil Komadoski, Kelly Guard, Bobby Robbins and Ryan Vesce became unrestricted free agents and were not re-signed. Tim Cook and Joe Cooper graduated from NCAA and were not signed by the August 15 deadline.  All six players are no longer Senators property and have been removed from the prospect list.

The Senators currently have a total of 34 prospects (falling under Hockey’s Future criteria) in the system: ten from the NCAA, seven from the CHL, seven are from Russian leagues, and three are from Sweden. Fourteen prospects are expected to play for Binghamton in 2007-08, seven will be returning to NCAA, while only three will be playing in the CHL. Seven prospects will remain in Europe with four in Russia, two in Sweden, and one in Czech Republic.

Copyright 2007 Hockey’s Future.  Do not reprint or otherwise duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.