Ottawa Senators: Top 10 Prospects Entering 2018

1 of 11
ottawa senators
Ottawa Senators goaltender Filip Gustavsson (30) (Photo by Steven Kingsman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Ottawa Senators are a team that is… rebuilding? Here are the prospects who can help with that right now.

The Ottawa Senators are a, well, Ottawa fans know the truth. The organization is a tire fire, the best tire fire in Ontario. There hasn’t been a tire fire this good since Krusty the Clown created Springfield’s Tire Fire. The Senators traded Erik Karlsson and Mike Hoffman for not a lot. The centerpiece of the Karlsson deal, Josh Norris, doesn’t even make this list. Neither does Andrew Sturtz.

The Senators do have some prospects, however. These prospects are ranked based on three equal factors: NHL readiness, ceiling, and the likelihood they play consistent minutes with the Ottawa Senators in the near future. To qualify, the prospect must not have played 25 NHL games (disqualifying Thomas Chabot).

Let’s start with the goaltenders.

1. Filip Gustavsson [20] (2-55, 2016)

Stats (Lulea HF, SHL): 22 gp, 2.07 GAA, .918 SV%, 3 SO (3 pgp, 2.91 GAA, .895 SV%, ); 7 gp, 1.71 GAA, .925 SV%. Lulea HF J20, SuperElit; 7 gp, 3.01 GAA, .912 SV%. Belleville Senators, AHL

Filip Gustavsson was one of the best goaltenders in the Swedish Hockey League at the age of 20. That’s incredible. It’s also one of the reasons the Ottawa Senators took him as a main part of the Derick Brassard trade. He’s now their best goaltending prospect, and with an aging battery and a rebuild, he’s the perfect candidate to be the Senators next franchise netminder. He’ll need to play in the AHL full-time first, but right now, it’s all systems go for Gustavsson to Ottawa.

[Gustavsson is] the perfect candidate to be the Senators next franchise netminder

Gustavsson was tied for fourth in save percentage in the SHL last season. He was fifth in goals-against average and tied for fifth in shutouts, with three. In the postseason, Gustavsson didn’t have the same worth to Lulea, but he did fine considering his age. Gustavsson also played some games in the SuperElit but proved far too good for that league pretty quickly. A 1.71 GAA and .925 save percentage are definite graduation material.

It’ll be interesting to see what Gustavsson can do in a full AHL season. In just seven games, Gustavsson produced a .912 save percentage, even behind a lesser defense. With Chabot going up and down throughout the season with Ben Harpur and not much beyond them, Belleville didn’t give Gustavsson a ton to work with. Still, with a more consistent defense with some new members, maybe Gustavsson can do even better and impress even more.

2. Marcus Hogberg [23] (3-78, 2013)

Stats (Belleville Senators, AHL): 18 gp, 3.27 GAA, .899 SV%; 16 gp, 3.10 GAA, .915 SV%. Brampton Beast, ECHL

Marcus Hogberg was once the future of the Ottawa Senators’ net, but he’s struggled in the AHL so far and had to go down to the ECHL to find success. He’ll have less pressure on him in the coming seasons with Gustavsson ahead of him, but Gustavsson will also be taking up a full-time AHL spot, at least for the next year. With just a .899 save percentage in the AHL and a .915 save percentage in the ECHL, Hogberg should be better.

if he becomes an NHL-level backup now, that’s a success

At this point, he’s not as young as the Ottawa Senators would perhaps like. Hogberg has had multiple seasons at the professional level and is still struggling to transition. Again, the defense was inconsistent, but Gustavsson dealt with it. Hogberg should have been able to as well. Perhaps his ceiling has changed, or he just hasn’t reached his potential as much as would have been hoped. Either way, if he becomes an NHL-level backup now, that’s a success.

It’ll be interesting to see where Hogberg goes from here. Whether he’s Gustavsson’s backup in the AHL or he gets the full-time starting job in the ECHL. The Ottawa Senators signed veteran AHL goaltender Mike McKenna this season. That’s likely bad news for Hogberg, who will need to beat out a goaltender who played in the Calder Cup Final for a job.