Your Ottawa Senators make a bold move today as they assigned forward Nikita Filatov to the AHL Binghamton Senators. After playing in the Sens first two games versus Detroit and Toronto, both losses, Filatov spent the next game in the press box. After being acquired at the draft this past summer, the Sens hoped Filatov would be able to provide top six offense. By today’s move, it seems like they think he still needs to develop more.
By all accounts, this was the right move by the organization. Filatov has not been developed properly since he was drafted in 2008 and was rushed into the NHL by the Columbus organization. With only six goals and 14 points in 46 career NHL games, Filatov has yet to prove he belongs in the NHL. Even at the AHL level, he has yet to dominate there as he only had 52 points in 75 career AHL games.
With an unimpressive training camp and pre-season, Filatov registered one point in his two games. Not too bad as he is still getting used to Ottawa’s new system, but Filatov was used sparingly when the games got tight. Filatov also saw little to no powerplay time, and as an offensive player who should be gold with the man advantage, coach MacLean did not put him out there.
Even though this is the right move by the organization, it is a very risky move too. Filatov is considered a flight risk as he has left the NHL/AHL before to return home to Russia. Will Filatov see this demotion as a chance to perfect his game, or will he flee to Russia and give up on the NHL.
Best case scenario, Filatov goes to Bingo and dominates the league. He becomes the player everyone thought he would be when he was drafted sixth overall. Then he could be called up to Ottawa and prove that he belongs in the NHL. Worst case, Filatov sees this demotion as a negative and figures he’d be better off in Russia.
With the B-Sens next game Friday night versus the Syracuse Crunch, coincidentally the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets when Filatov was with that organization (but not Columbus’ current affiliate), one hopes that Filatov uses this demotion as a motivator to prove all his critics wrong.
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Topics: Nikita Filatov