SenShot continues to release our Top 40 Ottawa Senators Prospects.
Today, we continue to look at the Top 20 Prospects and bring to you another four of Ottawa’s prospects in their system. In our Top 40 Prospects ranking, these four prospects are ranked 5th to 8th.
- There were many questions marks when Ottawa drafted Silfverberg early in the second round of the 2009 draft, as many did not know what his potential was. But the Sens have been rewarded for their scouting as Silfverberg has developed into a strong two-way winger. With good size, Silfverberg has the hands to put up points and the hockey sense to be an impact at both ends of the ice. With a great, hard shot, Silfverberg needs to work on his physicality if he wants to survive the NHL game.
- Silfverberg will play one more year in Sweden as he believes he needs one more year to be fully prepared for the NHL. With the organization very high on Silfverberg’s talent, they want him to work on his skating that will be the difference between him being a impact top six forward or a solid third liner.
- Check out this video of Silfverberg’s work.
- The fastest riser in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Swedish forward Zibanejad began the year with Djurgarden’s junior squad, but was promoted to the big squad and finished out the year in the Swedish Elite League. Playing the game at a high intensity, Zibanejad is a power forward in every sense. Making big hits, driving hard to the net and with good speed, Zibanejad is a difference maker on the ice. Hard to knock off the puck, Zibanejad protects the puck well and has the hockey sense to find his teammates. With a good shot, Zibanejad needs to work on his skating if he wants to star in the NHL. He is a good skater currently, but he could get to another level.
- Already signed to a three-year entry level contract, Zibanejad has come to training camp hoping to stick with Ottawa. If he can’t crack the line-up, Zibanejad will play out the year in Sweden with Djurgarden and probably suit up for Team Sweden at the World Juniors. The organization has big plans for Zibanejad as they project him to be their future second line center.
- Check out this video of Zibanejad’s work.
- The tall and lanky Wiercioch is a great puck mover with a good shot and an offensive minded game. With the ability to put up points from the back-end, Wiercioch notched 62 points in 75 games in his two years at the University of Denver. The Sens were rewarded for drafting Wiercioch as he had a growth spertt of two inches to reach 6’4″ right after he was drafted. However, his sudden growth has also become one of his weaknesses. At 6’4″, Wiercioch is only 192 lbs and desperately needs to add weight and strength to his frame to be able to handle the pro game.
- Wiercioch did not have the first year as a pro he imagined when he left school early to make the Sens. A healthy scratch most nights at the beginning of the season, Wiercioch had quite an adjustment period to the AHL game. But once he got into the line-up, Wiercioch began to find his game. With 18 points in 67 AHL games, Wiercioch also earned an eight game call-up to Ottawa where he notched his first two NHL points. He fared well in his first NHL game action, but his strength yet again was an issue.
- Wiercioch is in the future plans of Ottawa as he, along with Erik Karlsson, David Rundblad and Jared Cowen are expected to be anchor the blue line for years to come. With his height, if Wiercioch were to add 15 – 20 lbs to his frame, he would be able to dominated in the NHL. Still a few years away, Wiercioch could potentially be a all-around defenseman in the NHL in the mold of Brent Burns.
- Check out this video on Wiercioch
- The best free agent to come out of college last year, Ottawa was able to entice Da Costa to sign with them on a two year entry level deal. With a high hockey IQ, Da Costa is a great playmaker and is very creative with the puck. Able to find teammates in scoring positions, Da Costa also has an amazing shot that he can snipe with.
- A little bit on the small side, Da Costa has the shiftiness to be able to succeed in the NHL. However, to be a dominant center in the league, he will need to add strength to his frame before he becomes a full time NHLer.
- With Ottawa trading away two of their top three centers last year, Da Costa has the opportunity to land a spot down the middle with the Sens. With his playmaking abilities, Da Costa will be a welcomed addition to the organization lacking offense.
- Da Costa has a chance to make the Ottawa line-up this year, but similar to Bobby Butler who came from the US college system, he may need some time in the AHL to become accustomed to the pro game.
- Check out this video describing Da Costa’s impact on Merrimack College and a little about him.
These four prospects are the future of the organization. In Zibanejad and Da Costa, the Sens have to potential second line centers that can make an impact on the ice in different ways. Silfverberg is a bit of a wild card, but if he can live up to the hype, he should be a top six forward sooner then later in Ottawa. Silfverberg is probably the best prospect to compare to captain Daniel Alfredsson as they play a similar game and both have taken extra time in Sweden to develop. In Wiercioch, he has been a little slow to develop, but he is still growing into his body. He should get more playing time this season in Bingo, so it’ll be easier to evaluate him after this season.
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