Keep Drake Batherson in the NHL
It’s no secret, Drake Batherson has done everything he could possibly do at the AHL level. Already with 2 seasons with Belleville, Batherson has 116 points in 104 games during that stretch which is incredibly rare for any player fresh out of junior, especially for a 4th round pick.
Making the team out of camp last season, many people doubted Batherson would ever be sent back down, but after 2 very underwhelming games to start the season, the staff had no choice. The talented forward would make his way back to the NHL though at the end of the season and he showed signs of improvement, racking up 10 points in 23 games he proved he belonged in Ottawa.
Batherson 22, will likely get nothing development-wise by playing in the AHL for another season and while the NHL isn’t often referred to as a “developmental league” it may as well be for Batherson. Standing at 6’3″ and nearly 200 pounds, Batherson doesn’t have any physical maturation left, he has all the tools to remain in the NHL.
It’s also not like Ottawa is oozing with talent on the wings either, they have Evgenii Dadonov and Connor Brown on the right side with Batherson but after that, it’s all depth forwards. While on the left side the Senators have Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stuetzle and possibly a player like Alex Galchenyuk who shouldn’t take priority over Batherson.
The Senators struggled with the man advantage last season, finishing last in the entire league and Batherson was a catalyst for Belleville’s powerplay adding 19 points.