Crookshank has been opening eyes in Belleville with his play
23-year-old Angus Crookshank has enjoyed a great season in the AHL with the Belleville Senators, leading the team in goals (22) and providing energy on whatever line he finds himself on. Crookshank’s 38 points rank 3rd on Belleville and there can be an argument made that he deserves a shot before other top re-call options in Egor Sokolov, Jake Lucchini, and others. All of this is even more remarkable considering that Crookshank missed the entire 2021-22 season with a knee injury.
As his first full season of professional hockey has gone on, Crookshank has continued to improve on both sides of the puck, quickly blossoming into one of the premier offensive threats for the B-Sens while continuing to develop away from the puck. As someone who found themselves in the bottom six at the start of the season, it’s good to see him succeed when given the opportunity at the top of the lineup.
With Mathieu Joseph suffering an injury on Sunday night in Calgary, there doesn’t seem to be a better time to promote a body from the AHL, and Crookshank (or Ridly Greig) would provide a desperate Senators team with some much-needed pace and energy. The Senators are in dire need of offense at the bottom of the lineup, as players like Dylan Gambrell, Austin Watson, Mark Kastelic, and others aren’t going to provide much in the way of that.
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Crookshank has played his best hockey of late for the B-Sens, playing at a point-per-game pace over his last 15 games (9G, 6A), continuing to show his goal-scoring touch that was his calling card at the lower levels. The diminutive, hard-working forward has an underrated shot that he isn’t afraid to use, as he leads the team in shots (155). Crookshank can beat goalies clean from distance, making him a threat from the majority of the offensive zone, his quick release is evident in the clip below:
The potential offensive boost that Crookshank could provide to Ottawa’s lineup is certainly worth a trial run, and if the team continues their poor play tonight in Edmonton, a promotion may be necessary before the team hits the ice on Thursday against the defending Stanley Cup Champs.