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Ottawa Senators: 5 Takeaways From Rookie Games Versus Montreal

OTTAWA, ON - MAY 5: Shane Pinto #57 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the Montreal Canadiens at Canadian Tire Centre on May 5, 2021 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
OTTAWA, ON - MAY 5: Shane Pinto #57 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the Montreal Canadiens at Canadian Tire Centre on May 5, 2021 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) /
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Shane Pinto #57 of the Ottawa Senators (Photo by Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
Shane Pinto #57 of the Ottawa Senators (Photo by Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) /

The Senators were able to walk away with consecutive 4-3 victories over the rival Canadiens

There was plenty to learn over the 120 minutes of hockey that we were fortunate to have been able to watch over the past weekend, the Senators’ rookies gave fans plenty to be excited about.

Below are some takeaways that I had from the two-game series:

1) Egor Sokolov Does it all in Game 2 – Close to NHL Ready

Sokolov was held pointless in the first game and wasn’t as noticeable as many people were expecting (himself included). Following the conclusion of game 1, Sokolov made a point of watching back all of his shifts from Saturday night with Belleville assistant coach Ben Sexton in preparation for Monday night’s game, and to nobody’s surprise, the 21-year-old sniper delivered, adding a pair of goals. Back to his dominant form, Sokolov was able to snipe home his second of the game on Canadiens’ goaltender Alexis Gravel, following the goal a scrum ensued with the goal-scorer right in the middle of it.

Sokolov’s performance in the final game of the series should give the young forward some much-needed confidence as he tries to win a spot in Ottawa in training camp.

2) Shane Pinto is a Man Amongst Boys

Despite having his struggles in Game 1 – being held pointless and an egregious turnover that led to a Canadiens goal, Pinto looked too good to be on the ice with his fellow “rookies”. While there were a few bumps in the road for the Hobey Baker Finalist, he looked bigger, stronger, and faster than most on the ice in both games, looking more and more like a player who should be in the NHL.

Pinto wasn’t expected to play in the series finale, but due to an injury to Philippe Daoust suffered in the first game, the 20-year-old was inserted back into the lineup, and it was definitely for the better. Pinto and Sokolov appear to have created some chemistry throughout rookie camp, the 2019  2nd round pick was able to set up the Russian winger for both of his goals, while also scoring one himself.

3) Lassi Thomson Looks Greatly Improved

Quickly mired in a little bit of a slump to start his professional career, the 19th overall pick of the 2019 Draft has shown things at the end of last year with Belleville and in rookie camp that should improve his reputation around the organization. Thomson was steady in the first game, but showcased more of his offensive talent in the second.

Following a primary assist on the first goal of the game by Egor Sokolov, Thomson was able to fire home an absolute snipe from the top of the circle while off the rush, showcasing his famed “shot” that many fans have taken notice of over his brief time with the Senators.

Thomson thrived at both ends of the ice and looked more like the player that Ottawa thought they had when he was drafted.

4) Cole Reinhardt Impresses

Selected in the 6th round in the 2020 NHL Draft as a 20-year-old overager, there weren’t great expectations for the Brandon Wheat King product, but a solid year in the AHL last season and a strong performance this weekend at rookie camp, Reinhardt is starting to make himself known.

There’s no doubt that Reinhardt was one of the Senators best players this past weekend, his speed and consistent motor made him one of the more noticable players on the ice for either team. Reinhardt added 2 points in the first game, and despite being held pointless in the finale, the gritty forward still flashed with his speed on multiple occasions.

5) Roby Järventie Shows Offensive Talent

The 33rd overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft, Roby Järventie was picked this high based on the talent he showed this weekend at the Senators rookie camp. For a big player at 6’3″, Jarventie can move, he uses his speed really well in transition and was flying past Canadiens defenders on multiple occasions.

Järventie added 2 assists on the weekend, including this terrific feed to find Shane Pinto in the slot for a goal off the rush:

The 19-year old was able to use his big-frame and good speed to create chances throughout each game, Järventie will be a player to keep your eyes on this season with Belleville.