Ottawa Senators: Ben Harpur 2017-2018 Season Preview

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 21: Ben Harpur
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 21: Ben Harpur /

It may just be August but the 2017-2018 NHL season will be on our hands before we know it. Training Camp will start in September and all the players will be brought together as they prepare for another season. With August as a down month in the NHL I thought this would be a great time to preview each of the players on the Ottawa Senators for next season.

Shifting to defence we’ll start with the defenceman at the lower end of the depth chart on the Ottawa Senators. Ben Harpur is a player that is capable of stealing a spot in the lineup from someone if they aren’t prepared. He hasn’t played many games, but the ones that he has, he made count. As just a fourth round pick in 2013, Harpur was never a player on the radar of many Sens fans. He’s still young at the age of 22, as a defenceman and later pick it’d be expected for him to take longer to develop. However, in the games he played, he looked like he belonged.

Stock Rising

The playoffs are when his stock really began to rise. With Borowiecki out with an injury and Wideman playing poorly, Harpur started nine games for the Sens in the playoffs. He may have accumulated just two points but he looked like a stable presence for the Sens. In fact he looked calmer with the puck than Ceci, Claesson, or Wideman. This doesn’t mean he’s better than any of those players, however, it does mean that he can compete with them for a spot.

Strong AHL Performance

Last year was his first full season in the AHL and he posted 27 points in 63 games. Very strong and a great improvement on his previous half season where he posted just 6 points in 47 games.

Next: Ottawa Senators: Mike Condon 2017-2018 Season Preview

Difficulty Winning A Spot

Unfortunately, for Harpur there may just be too much depth on the left side for Harpur to make the cut this year. Oduya and Phaneuf are veterans and will make the team. Claesson and Chabot either have more experience or have the star power to get a shot at the lineup before Harpur. At the age of 22 there isn’t a rush to bring Harpur to the NHL too quickly. Harpur certainly could make the Ottawa Senators in the future, but it won’t be this year. For now he will hone his skills in the AHL.