In this edition of Ottawa Senators News & Rumors, I’ll try to help Senators’ fans stay up to date with news emerging from the organization.
Item One: Jonathan Davidsson Doing Well Enough Playing at Home in Sweden
Johathan Davidsson is doing – well, Ok. He has one goal and three points in six games playing at his home in Sweden. The Senators loaned Davidsson to Vasterviks IK in Sweden’s HockeyAllsvenskan. The 23-year-old forward simply needs more games under his belt before the Senators decide whether he fits into their plans or not.
When the now well-traveled Matt Duchene was sent to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Davidsson was one of the players who came in return. He played six games with the Senators during the 2019-20 season, but only scored one point. The jury’s still out about if he can make a career in the NHL.
Item Two: Egor Sokolov Signs a Three-Year Entry-Level Contract with Senators
This is a youngster you just gotta root for. When Egor Sokolov wasn’t chosen during the last two NHL Entry Drafts in 2018 and 2019, he didn’t give up trying. He had a tremendous 2019-20 season with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL, and he got his wish. The Senators picked him with the team’s 61st pick during the second round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
As a reward for his stellar his third season with Cape Breton, where he scored 46 goals and 46 assists (92 points) in 52 games, last week Sokolov signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators.
As Senators general manager Pierre Dorion noted, “To Egor’s credit, he’s worked especially hard for this. Despite initially being undrafted, he applied himself to improve many facets of his game to the point where he led the Quebec league in goals last season. We were pleased to be able to select him where we did last month and look forward to seeing his career progress.”
Sokolov is a kid who appreciates what life brings. Because he grew to love his three seasons in Nova Scotia, it became home to him. During the offseason, when the pandemic hit he stayed in Sydney and helped deliver groceries to those in need.
Item Three: Evgenii Dadonov Expected to Lead the Senators Power Play this Season
When the Senators picked up Dadonov this offseason, it was with the express intent that he could help lead the Senators’ power play this coming season. He certainly has the experience. He’s been a crucial part of the Florida Panthers’ first power-play unit during the last three seasons, and has racked up 47 points with the man advantage.
There’s no doubt that the Senators need him. They had the lowest power-play percentage (14.2%) in the entire NHL last season and only finished third to last in the number of power-play goals they scored (they scored 30). If the Senators are to win more regularly and move out of the rebuilding mentality, one area that needs improvement is the special team’s play.
Ottawa simply couldn’t finish their chances last season. That where Dadonov comes into play: he’s a player whose experience can help mentor young stars Brady Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot, who would make up the rest of the team’s top power-play combination.
Item Four: COVID-19 or Not, Erik Brannstrom’s Enjoying Playing in Switzerland
Like a number of European-born NHL players, Erik Brannstrom has been playing in Europe during the wacky offseason between the 2019-20 and the 2020-21 NHL seasons. However, he hasn’t been playing in his home country of Sweden. Instead, he’s been playing in Switzerland. And, he’s enjoying his time there.
As Brannstrom reported, even during all the delays in play caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, he admits that:
“Swiss hockey was a good fit for me and Langnau was the best fit for me. I get to play a lot and develop the things I need to work on so I think it was a good choice by me and my agent to play here before the season starts in Ottawa.”
So far, he’s played in nine games with the SCL Tigers of the Swiss National League. He’s scored two goals, five assists, and seven points in those nine games. He’s also seen plenty of ice time, and has averaged more than 20 minutes TOI.
He’s looking forward to cracking the Senators line-up and earning regular ice time when he hits Senators training camps when it opens.
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