The 21-year old Latvian will get his second opportunity with the Ottawa Senators this season.
The Ottawa Senators have recalled Rūdolfs Balcers from their AHL affiliate in Belleville.
Balcers, who was one of the prospects acquired in the Erik Karlsson trade, has played in 38 games for the Bellville Senators, putting up 15 goals (Tied for the team lead with Jack Rodewald) and 13 assists.
Balcers also has an eight game stint with the Ottawa Senators in early January, scoring his first NHL goal and an assist in that time.
The Sens will likely put Balcers on the fourth line, possibly pushing Nick Paul out of the lineup. That would put the 21-year old on a line with Chris Tierney in the middle and Mikkel Boedker on the right.
The Senators wouldn’t be calling Balcers up again if they didn’t think he could play in the NHL, and putting him in the lineup would give the fourth line a nice boost of speed and offense. Balcers attempted 13 shots in his first eight NHL games, with 6 of them finding their way on net, so he clearly has a knack for creating some scoring chances.
Is A Trade Coming?
But could this call-up be the first step in the Ottawa Senators announcing a trade?
If Balcers is in the lineup tonight, the Sens will have an abundance of wingers on the team. With all of the talk surrounding Matt Duchene, Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel, Sens fans should keep their eyes on the Twittersphere today.
If there were bets being placed, the likely candidate would be Dzingel. Depth scoring is an unheralded part of a lineup in the NHL and Dzingel would be a great pickup for a team like the Carolina Hurricanes (143 goals, 23rd in league scoring) or the Dallas Stars (130 goals, 39th in league scoring).
As always, we will see if this AHL call-up has any larger ramifications for the Ottawa Senators. In any case, Balcers will likely be in the lineup tonight against Detroit, and it’s always exciting to see what a promising prospect can do in the NHL.