Young Ottawa Senators Players Compete for Spots In Line Up


This will be the first season since 2002 that will not see Jason Spezza playing centre for the Ottawa Senators. He has taken his talents to Dallas, as has winger Ales Hemsky. The void left by Spezza must be be filled. It will be interesting to see the Senators starting line up by the time regular season play starts in October.

Hemsky and Spezza’s departure leave spots available in the Top 6. It is rumoured that David Legwand and Mika Zibanejad will be battling for the 2nd line centre role. Kyle Turris will most likely be playing on the first line with Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur.

Four forwards on the Ottawa Senators roster spent time last year with AHL affiliate team the Binghamton Senators. Those fowards are: Mika Zibanejad, Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Zibanejad appears to be a lock to make the team. He is currently in competition with David Legwand to be the second line centre. The other three forwards are all competing to earn spots with Ottawa.

I recently conducted research to try and figure out if there is a way to predict NHL performance based off AHL statistics. After combing through various articles, including particularly good ones at and I found that the common consensus seems to be a .45 drop off in point projection when a player moves up to the NHL.

I decided to apply these numbers to Hoffman, Stone, and Pageau. It is fairly obvious that players in the AHL will have higher statistics due to a variety of factors. These factors include more ice time, and a softer level of competition. By applying the .45 drop off in production, having each player play a hypothetical 82 games, and applying the players goal and assist ratios from the AHL, the following happened.

Player NameGamesGoalsAssistsPoints

Will Hoffman be a twenty goal scorer this year? Which of these three players will be on the Sens opening day line up? Will any of these players be on the Sens opening day line up? Only time will tell. I am not certain which player will play with the big club. I am certain that the Senators brass would be ecstatic if any of the three became twenty goal scorers. It would be a big help to the Senators if they can get production out of any of the three. The team is in an interesting position. Daniel Alfredsson has left to Detroit (and maybe now retirement), Spezza has left to Dallas.

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The time for a younger generation of Senator players to produce points for the team is now. Zibanejad will almost certainly be in the Top 9, which of these other young players will help the team? I personally hope it is Hoffman. He has shown the ability to produce in the AHL, and at twenty four years, the time is now. Hoffman, Stone, and Pageau all played between nineteen and twenty eight games last year, not one player hit the ten point marker. The time is now for one of these players to shine in the NHL.