Season Review – Jim O’Brien was the biggest surprise on the Senators roster early on, with the dearth of scoring he actually led the team with 5 goals at the end of February. But something happened along the lines and the fan favorite found himself a healthy scratch more often than not down the stretch (sitting for almost the entire last month), and he would up playing in only 29 games, finishing with 5 goals (a career high) and one assist for 6 points.
Playoffs – O’Brien never saw action in the postseason. He might as well have had his picture on the side of a milk carton.
Contract Status – O’Brien has 1 year remaining on his 2 year contract that carries a cap hit of $637,500.
Importance To Franchise – O’Brien falls into the level of bit player, as noted with his numerous healthy scratches and not even being on the radar for the playoffs. He hasn’t exactly forced himself into a position where he has to be in the lineup every night or the team suffers for it.
Needs to Improve – The former first round pick needs to get better in a lot of areas. His foot speed needs to improve as does his finishing ability when he gets chances. He has proven to be a solid penalty killer but needs to do more to be an everyday player.
Grade – C-. The fact that he led the team in goals for so long was indicative of the struggles of others, not necessarily his improvement or dominance.