Mike Hoffman had been with the Ottawa Senators for a cup of coffee in each of the previous two seasons, but he finally made his mark this season.
He first got called up in early December for a 3 game stint, where he was among the leading scorers in the AHL. He was sent back after going pointless in those three games, and continued to put up points in the AHL until he was recalled after the Olympic break, as it turned out, for the remainder of the season. He scored 3 goals and added 3 assists this season, and saw time on the power play manning a point position.
A natural center, Mike Hoffman played mostly on the wing in his tenure in the NHL.
- Scored his first NHL goal (and added his first assist) against the Winnipeg Jets on March 8th.
- Won the fastest skater at the AHL skills competition in February.
- Was second in scoring in the AHL when he was recalled in February
- Needs to cash in on his chances at the NHL level on a more consistent basis.
Hoffman played the last season on a 2-way, 1 year contract. He will be a restricted free agent in July and will require a qualifying offer of $726,000 for next year for the Senators to retain his rights.
Mike Hoffman has shown he can play at the NHL level, it is just a matter of finding the right spot for him. He will not likely succeed in the long run as a checker, but the question is can he produce enough to be a top 6 forward? He will likely be re-signed by the Senators, but will have to pass through waivers if the team wants to send him to Binghamton. It is doubtful he would clear, so the Senators might need to find a slot for him or lose him for nothing.
GRADE – C+ – He showed he can skate at the NHL level, but forcing his way into more opportunity by cashing in on the chances he gets will have to be the goal for next year.