GARRIOCH: Senators Senior Vice President Pierre McGuire says the outlook is good for the organization

“Pierre McGuire provided an update on how some of the best prospects in the club are playing.”

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The outlook is good for the Ottawa Senators.


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With the season moving into full throttle as the Senators prepare to embark on their first long drive of the season starting Friday night in Dallas, Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion and Pierre McGuire, senior vice president of player development for the club, they will make an additional trip to Nashville on Saturday night.

There, they will have a chance to catch top prospective defenders Jake Sanderson and Tyler Kleven of the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks as they face Penn State in the US Hockey Hall of Fame game.

Dorion and McGuire will also visit the duo.

“Those two are huge for our organization and we are very excited about the way they are both playing,” McGuire told the Postmedia panel of Senators Tuesday morning.

McGuire provided an update on how some of the club’s best prospects are playing. Here’s a look at what he said about the players we talked about.


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The full video interview is online:

Jake Sanderson, D, No. 5 (2020) University of North Dakota : Has three goals and seven points in six games with UND this season and has been a force. Sanderson will play for the United States in the youth world championship and has the opportunity to be the captain of the club.

McGuire has been in regular contact with UND coach Brad Berry for updates and Dorion has called Sanderson the “best defense outside the NHL.”

“I’ve known Jake for a long time because I coached his father, Geoff, at Hartford, but they are two very different players,” McGuire said. “Geoff was an offensive player, while Jake has the ability to defend and attack. He is the best defender of college hockey in the USA.

“He will be in his second Junior World Cup and was part of the club’s gold medal-winning team last year. We have talked a lot with Brad Berry; they are delighted with his development and conditioning levels. They’ve had tons of NHL players go through that program over the years and Sanderson is at the top. “


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Lassi thomson
Lassi thomson Photo by Errol McGihon. /Postmedia

Lassi Thomson, D, No. 20 (2019) Belleville: He has made great strides this year on defense and has a chance to be called up if the club has injury problems.

Thomson, 21, is in his second year at AHL and has shown great progress. Dorion, McGuire and assistant general manager Peter MacTavish went to Belleville last Saturday to watch the club lose a 2-1 decision to Cleveland.

Coach Troy Mann has used Thomson in various situations.

“Last year it was a big difference for him to play on smaller ice in the AHL,” McGuire said. “It makes a big difference to play on a bigger surface against younger or less experienced players. Last year was a cornerstone for him and this year he can be seen starting to break up.


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“I can tell you from day 1 of development camp to where he is now, Lassi has done incredibly well. He’s physical, fast, and shoots the puck like an NHL player. He’s passing the puck like an NHL player and he’s starting to defend like an NHL player. It’s very, very positive for Lassi ”.

Mads Sogaard takes a break during Senators development practice at the Canadian Tire Center in September 2021.
Mads Sogaard takes a break during Senators development practice at the Canadian Tire Center in September 2021. Photo by Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

Mads Sogaard, G, No. 37 (2019) Belleville: He did not play the weekend because he has a minor injury, but Sogaard could be the goalkeeper of the future. Goalkeeping is a position of strength for this organization and they have been working hard with Belleville goalkeeping coach Justin Peters, along with Ottawa’s Zac Bierk.

He has struggled from the start but has only played two games and the 20-year-old Sogaard will have a chance to dress for Denmark at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing in February.


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Sogaard was on the ice Monday for 40 minutes and the plan was for him to skate with the Senators again on Tuesday, so he has not been ruled out for this weekend. At 6 feet 7 inches, he has a great ability to move around the net and is a smart gamer. He will pressure Filip Gustavsson for playing time at Belleville when he is healthy.

“He is a great person. He reminds me, and I’m not saying it’s going to be him, Pekka Rinne with the way he handles the record, its size and the way it moves, “said McGuire. “The future (of Sogaard) is staggeringly bright. For him, it comes down to repetition and getting tons and tons of ice time. “

Ottawa Senators defender Erik Brannstrom (26) eludes control of Vancouver Canucks center Zack MacEwen in April 2021.
Ottawa Senators defender Erik Brannstrom (26) eludes control of Vancouver Canucks center Zack MacEwen in April 2021. Photo by Errol McGihon. /Postmedia

Erik Brannstrom, D, traded to Ottawa in 2018 (Vegas), Belleville: Its name has appeared on the commercial market, but it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon.


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Brannstrom has been working with assistant coach David Bell to work on the defensive part of his game, especially in opposition boxing. Brannstrom had a strong camp and may have felt like he had earned a place. He will play this week, but Cleveland’s Gavin Bayreuther removed three of his teeth over the weekend.

Bayreuther received a two-game suspension for cross-checking.

“It’s a tough injury and it’s not fun to have,” McGuire said. “That is something he will have to fight for, but in terms of the future it is still very promising. You say that he has to defend better and that is true, he will have to defend much better on the downside.

“Is it better on the right side or the left side? It’s probably a great debate. I think it’s probably better on the left. It turns much better to your left than to your right. That is something we have to solve in the long term. David Bell does a great job with our defenders and that will help in the long run. “

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Twitter: @sungarrioch



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