2017-18 Season Preview: Ottawa Senators

Updated: December 6, 2017 at 10:00 am by Brock Seguin

Anderson-Karlsson

The Ottawa Senators missed the playoffs in 2015-16, but enjoyed a great postseason run last year and come into 2017-18 with high expectations.

The Senators pushed the eventual Stanley Cup Champions to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Following a strong year, Ottawa did not make many changes this offseason. They lost Marc Methot to the Vegas Golden Knights during the expansion draft (was then traded to the Dallas Stars), but they have Thomas Chabot ready to take his spot. The 20-year-old was the Senators’ first-round pick (No.18 overall) in 2015 and is expected to get a longer look this season. Chabot appeared in one game with the Senators last year and collected 45 points (10G / 35A) in 34 games upon his return to the Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL). The young blueliner could take on a large role early on because Erik Karlsson’s status for the start of the season remains cloudy. The Senators star defenseman is recovering from offseason foot surgery but is progressing well and he could be ready for the season opener.

“If you didn’t tell me he has been out, I wouldn’t know,” head coach Guy Boucher said. “(The rehabilitation) is going fast.” – via Ottawa Citizen

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Dion Phaneuf
DION PHANEUF
Thomas Chabot
THOMAS CHABOT
Johnny Oduya
JOHNNY ODUYA
Cody Ceci
CODY CECI
Fredrik Claesson
FREDRIK CLAESSON
Chris Wideman
CHRIS WIDEMAN

If Karlsson isn’t ready for Game No.1, this is how their blueline will likely look for the first few games. Johnny Oduya signed on with the Sens this summer and will likely push Chris Wideman to the press box when Karlsson is 100 percent. Outside of Karlsson’s elite production and Chabot’s breakout upside, Dion Phaneuf is the only other fantasy relevant defenseman on this blueline. Since his mid-season trade to Ottawa two years ago, Phaneuf has 10 goals and 28 assists (38 points) in 101 games—eight-goal, 23-assist per 82-game pace. Consider him a low-end No.4/high-end No.5 fantasy rearguard.

LEFT WING CENTER RIGHT WING
Zack Smith
ZACK SMITH
Kyle Turris
KYLE TURRIS
Mike Hoffman
MIKE HOFFMAN
Mark Stone
MARK STONE
Jean-Gabriel Pageau
JEAN-GABRIEL PAGEAU
Bobby Ryan
BOBBY RYAN
Ryan Dzingel
RYAN DZINGEL
Logan Brown
LOGAN BROWN
Alexandre Burrows
ALEXANDRE BURROWS
Max McCormick
MAX MCCORMICK
Nate Thompson
NATE THOMPSON
Tom Pyatt
TOM PYATT

Like Karlsson, Derick Brassard’s status for the season opener is in jeopardy. Brassard has been rehabbing his surgically repaired right shoulder, but also appears on track to be ready for the opener. If Brassard gets through next week’s practices unscathed, look for him to be in the lineup vs. the Washington Capitals. Former first-round pick Colin White broke his left wrist during training camp, which opened the door for 2016 first-round pick Logan Brown to break camp with the Senators. The 19-year-old is 6-foot-6, 214 lbs. and is coming off of a season in which he recorded 14 goals and 26 assists (40 points) in 35 games with the Windsor Spitfires.

The Senators big three up front is made up of Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman and Kyle Turris. The three forwards used to play together, but the Senators have been consciously trying to spread out their offence over the last year. Hoffman burst onto the scene in 2014-15 and since then he ranks 21st in the NHL in goals (82) and 31st in shots (665). Hoffman has become one of the better goal-scorers in the NHL and a great power-play producer. Expect him to fire 200-plus shots and approach a 30-30 season. Stone is a grade-A pickpocket with a strong offensive-game. Stone has 20-plus goals and 30-plus assists in the last three seasons, ranking 32nd in the NHL in points (179) and tied for 37th in goals (71) over that stretch. Lastly, Turris battled injuries in 2015-16, but rebounded in 2016-17 by collecting 27 goals and 28 assists (55 points) in 78 contests. During his last four seasons, Turris is averaging 25 goals, 32 assists and 202 shots per 82 games. Despite the level of success, Turris is largely under appreciated and under-drafted. He has 25-goal, 35-assist upside with a stable floor.

GOALIES
Craig Anderson
CRAIG ANDERSON
Mike Condon
MIKE CONDON

Last year was a tough season off of the ice for Craig Anderson. He missed some time to be with his wife, who was diagnosed with cancer mid-season, but he was sensational  when he was in the crease. Anderson won 25 of his 40 appearances while posting the third best SV% (.926) and 10th best GAA (2.28). The 36-year-old signed a two-year contract extension on Friday and will hope to get back over 50 starts this season. Expect some regression in his splits, but he is a safe No.2 fantasy option. Mike Condon is back as the Senators’ No.2 option and he did very well when called upon last year. The 27-year-old was 19-14-6 with a 2.50 GAA and .914 SV%, but his fantasy value will be limited while he’s serving as Anderson’s backup.

Season Outlook

The Senators had a lot of things fall perfectly for them last season, making a repeat this season difficult to expect. They carried the sixth worst team CorsiFor (48.3) and will struggle to get back int the playoffs if they don’t improve that number. However, Atlantic Division is a toss-up, giving Ottawa some promise.

Atlantic

  1. 1.
  2. 2.
  3. 3. Montreal Canadiens
  4. 4. Boston Bruins
  5. 5. Ottawa Senators
  6. 6. Florida Panthers
  7. 7. Detroit Red Wings
  8. 8. Buffalo Sabres

Projections

Goals Assists Points
Mike Hoffman (LW) 27 Erik Karlsson (D) 49 Erik Karlsson (D) 66
Mark Stone (RW) 24 Mark Stone (RW) 36 Mark Stone (RW) 60
Kyle Turris (C) 24 Kyle Turris (C) 33 Kyle Turris (C) 57
Bobby Ryan (RW) 20 Mike Hoffman (LW) 30 Mike Hoffman (LW) 57
Zack Smith (C) 20 Derick Brassard (C) 29 Derick Brassard (C) 48

Fantasy Rankings (Top 350)

  • Erik Karlsson-#19 (#2 D)
  • Mark Stone-#87 (#17 RW)
  • Mike Hoffman-#107 (#18 LW)
  • Kyle Turris-#117 (#32 C)
  • Craig Anderson-#135 (#22 G)
  • Thomas Chabot-#169 (#37 D)
  • Derik Brassard-#191 (#47 C)
  • Dion Phaneuf-#240 (#57 D)
  • Mike Condon-#245 (#39 G)
  • Bobby Ryan-#247 (#46 RW)
  • J-G Pageau-#344 (#71 C)
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Brock Seguin

Brock has been the Editor-In-Chief of DailyFaceoff.com since the start of the 2012-13 season, the Host of the DFO Podcast since 2015 and Editor-In-Chief of DailyDugout since the 2017 season.

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