After taking a look at the deconstruction of the AHL Calder Cup winning Binghamton Senators, what can Bingo fans expect for next years edition of the team. With a turnover of 14 players, either through promotion to the big club or leaving for another opportunity with a new team, the B-Sens will usher in a new set of prospects that will try to defend Binghamton’s championship.
Fresh to the team will be a new crop of junior and college prospects and free agents, a few European prospects and a few AHL veterans that will help guide the young core of the team left over from the championship squad. Let’s take a look at the players that will be joining Bingo to help defend their championship:
Welcome to the new anchor of the defensive unit. The 6’5″ beast joined Bingo for their playoff run last season and played huge minutes down the stretch after the team was hit with a ton of injuries on the backend. Projected to be a defensive defenceman in the NHL, Cowen will be expected to work on his offensive game in Bingo. Oozing leadership, don’t be surprised if Cowen is given a letter in his rookie season. With the blueline full in Ottawa, Cowen may spend the whole year in Bingo which might be the best case for him. Hopefully Cowen will develop a mean streak in Bingo too as he has the potential to mold into a Chris Pronger type of player.
The next in line of great Swedish prospects in the system, Rundblad will come over this upcoming season in hopes of making the big club. But with the backend full at the NHL level, Rundblad may go to Bingo to get used to the North American game. The Defenceman of the Year in the Swedish Elite League last season, Rundblad racked up 50 points in 55 games. Similar to Erik Karlsson, Rundblad can generate offence at will. Standing 6’2″ and 190lbs, Rundblad is a lot bigger than Karlsson so his transition should be quick. An excellent skater, Rundblad will work on his defensive game in Bingo. With Rundblad and Cowen, expect the two to be the top pairing D-man and given all the opportunity to develop as the organization has big plans for the two. This would also be one of the first times in recent memory that Bingo will feature two of the organization’s top prospects. It will be fun to watch these two in Bingo this season.
The former Clarkson University captain started his pro career last season by joining Bingo as they pushed to make the playoffs. Then, when injuries on the backend forced him into the line-up, the Ottawa native proved he belonged in the pros. A defensive defenceman with a lot of edge to him, Borowiecki will keep players honest and will be a fan favorite. After a great showing at Sens development camp this past June, where he won the Hardest Working Sen award, Borowiecki has risen up the depth chart and is nipping at the heels of more established defensive prospects. Borowiecki is also one of the six 2008 draft prospects that have already turned pro for Ottawa from their great draft year.
Stephane Da Costa
The highly sought after NCAA free agent center, Da Costa choose to sign with the Senators as he saw a greater opportunity to fast track his NHL career in Ottawa. The Merrimack College star put up impressive numbers in his two years at the college with back-to-back campaigns of 45 points in seasons of 34 and 33 games respectively. After signing with the Sens, Da Costa played four games in Ottawa at the end of the season. In his limited ice time, it was evident that Da Costa will need some time in the AHL. Needing to get stronger, look for Da Costa to battle for the second line center position in Bingo. Da Costa follows other NCAA standouts Bobby Butler and Jesse Winchester as they signed with Ottawa after their college career was over. But unlike Butler and Winchester, Da Costa will probably need more time in the AHL to develop his game.
The highly skilled, flashy winger is another prospect from Sweden that will bring high-end offence to Bingo. With the ability to create offence out of nothing, Petersson has one thing on his mind — scoring goals. A bit undersized at 5’9″ and 179lbs, Petersson will need to get stronger if he hopes to survive the pro level. With speed to burn, Petersson will also have to work on his all-around game as he is not known as a defensive specialist. But with coach Kurt Klienendorst behind the bench, he should be able to round out Petersson’s defensive game. Still a project, Petersson has the offensive tools to be an impact player in the NHL. He will just need to work out the kinks in his all-around game first. Petersson is also one of the six 2008 draft prospects that have already turned pro for Ottawa from their great draft year.
The University of Michigan forward capped off his impressive four year college career with 68 goals and 144 points in 160 games. The speedy skilled center has great offensive instincts and a tenacity to put pucks in the net. However, a bit undersized at 5’10 and 190lbs for the center position, look for Caporusso to be switched to the wing in Bingo. For Caporusso to succeed as a pro, he will need to crack one of the top two forward lines as his game is not built on checking. He will be in tough to crack the top six forward ranks, but he has the drive to succeed and may surprise many in Bingo. He is a project, but Caporusso may help bring some respectability back to the 2007 Sens draft class. You can also follow Caporusso on Twitter here.
Signed as a free agent straight out of junior, Hamilton is a hard nosed center in the mold of Zach Smith. Captain of the Medicine Hat Tigers, Hamilton plays a solid two-way game and will be a fan favorite too. After the B-Sens lost players like Cody Bass, Erik Condra and Zach Smith, Hamilton will help fill the void. Jared recently did an interview with Darren Steinke, sports reporter for the Medicine Hat News about Hamilton which gave a ton of insight on this future B-Sen. A bit undersized at 5’10″ and 165lbs, Hamilton makes up for what he lacks in size with his effort and heart.
After two years at Michigan State, Grant had decided to turn pro. With 63 points in 76 collegiate games, the 6’3″, 196lbs center has great size and offensive ability. Playing 14 games at the end of last season with Bingo, Grant notched six points in 14 games. Grant also suited up for seven playoff games and recorded two points. With a lot of room to grow into his body, Grant has the potential to be a dominant center at the pro level. Still a few years away from the NHL, Grant will battle for a shot down the middle with the likes of Stephane Da Costa, Jim O’Brien and Wacey Hamilton. Grant is also one of the six 2008 draft prospects that have already turned pro for Ottawa from their great draft year.
Cowick had a rough go in his rookie pro season as he only suited up for 30 AHL games with Bingo recording four points and 20 penalty minutes. Playing the majority of the season in the ECHL with Elmira, Cowick notched 14 points and 76 penalty minutes. At 6’2″ and 201lbs, Cowick has the frame to be an energy forward in the AHL. With the goal to hit anything on the ice, Cowick needs to play a controlled game and learn from current Senator Chris Neil. Cowick will make up for some of the physicality that left and will hopefully chip in from the fourth line.
Signed as a free agent after completing four years at Miami University, Ottawa snagged Cannone on a one year deal. The offensive 24 year old right winger scored 45 goals and 133 points in 166 collegiate games. Jared recently did an interview with Vic Brotzman of the Miami Redhawks Examiner newspaper who followed Cannone during his four years at Miami. From Brotzman’s account, it seems Ottawa got a steal here and Cannone may be able to provide offence from the top nine forward ranks. On a one year deal, Cannone will need to impress early if he hopes to make a name for himself in the organization.
Parrish will usher in the new set of veterans that will help guide the young B-Sens squad. The 34 year old veteran has played 722 NHL games on seven different teams and has amassed 216 goals and 387 points. Suiting up for the AHL Portland Pirates last season, Parrish had 17 goals and 51 points in 56 games. With some juice still left in the tank, Parrish will line up on one of the top two lines and fill the void left by former B-Sens captain, Ryan Keller.
The 25 year old defenceman will help fill the void left by the departures of Andre Benoit and Derek Smith. Having spent time at the collegiate level, Finland, Russia, AHL and the NHL, Sweatt has been well traveled. A bit undersized at 5’9″ and 195lbs, Sweatt has the offensive tools to put up solid points. A great puck mover, Sweatt will be able to help ease the adjustment period for a few of the rookies on the team.
An AHL veteran of 412 games, the physical defenceman will help ease the transition for a few rookies on the blueline. A team first guy, the defensive defenceman can also line up as a fourth line energy forward when needed. Also suiting up for Portland last season like Parrish, Conboy had 12 points and 233 penalty minutes.
Brought in to back-up Robin Lehner, McKenna is a 29 year old journeyman netminder who won’t rock the boat. With 164 AHL games under his belt, McKenna has a record of 77-63-11 with a SV% of .905 and a GAA of 2.96. Fourth on the organizational depth chart, McKenna could have an opportunity to play more games than expected as Craig Anderson has had injury issues in the past. You can also follow McKenna on Twitter here.
With the 14 players that have already departed from the Championship Bingo squad, David Hale and Kaspars Daugavins have yet to have their futures determined. Along with those two, the 14 players above will be joining Bingo to help defend their championship title. With a few veterans mixed in with a bunch of rookies, next years squad looks to be quite good on paper. Training camp begins in two months and only time will tell how next year’s edition of the B-Sens will fare.
Til then, GO B-SENS GO!!!
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Topics: AHL, Andre Petersson, B-Sens, Binghamton Senators, Bingo, Corey Cowick, David Hale, David Rundblad, Derek Grant, Jared Cowen, Kaspars Daugavins, Lee Sweatt, Louie Caporusso, Mark Borowiecki, Mark Parrish, Mike McKenna, NHL, Ottawa Senators, Pat Cannone, Stephane Da Costa, Sweden, Tim Conboy, Wacey Hamilton