Thomas Chabot is Captain Canada.
The Ottawa Senators’ top defenseman was named the captain of Team Canada’s entry at the IIHF world championship that gets under way Friday in Helsinki.
The 25-year-old Chabot is part of a leadership group that includes Montreal’s Josh Anderson, Pierre-Luc Dubois of the Jets, Winnipeg’s Adam Lowry and New Jersey’s Damon Severson.
ottawa coach DJ Smith is an assistant on head coach Claude Julien’s staff and would have played a role in helping to choose the Senators’ alternate captain to wear the ‘C’ along. This is the third time in his career that Chabot has suited up for Canada the tournament.
“It is always special to be able to wear the Maple Leaf, and it is a true honor to be named captain for the world championship,” Chabot said. “Our entire team is excited to play for Canada, and we will represent the country with pride as we look to defend last year’s gold medal.”
senators winger Drake Batherson is also on the club’s roster along with veteran defenseman Nick Holden. Canada will have a big challenge in its first game Friday afternoon when the club tries to shut down Ottawa teammate Tim Stuetzle and the squad from Germany.
GEARING UP FOR MEETINGS
The Ottawa scouting staff will gather May 23rd at the Canadian Tire Center for their annual meetings to prepare for the NHL draft being held July 7-8 at the Bell Center in Montreal.
It’s been two years since general manager Pierre Dorionassistant GM Peter MacTavish, chief scout Trent Mann and the rest of the staff have all been in the same room together because of the pandemic.
The timing of the meetings has been set so the Senators can be ready to do more homework at the NHL Combine which is being held June 1-to-June 6 in Buffalo.
With the No. 7 pick and 11 selections overall, Mann noted in an interview with Postmedia Wednesday there’s going to be some strong arguments.
There’s been no shortage of debate about who might be available for the Senators with the seventh selection.
The highly-respected Craig Buttona former NHL GM and TSN’s director of scouting, had the club taking forward Cutter Gauthier of the US National Development Team program. Button compares Gauthier to Boston Bruins’ center Patrice Bergeron.
“There’s going to be some heated discussions, there always is, about this No. 7 selection, who we really want and who we’re willing to pick.” said Mann. “That’s why I’m really looking forward to the meetings, just for that purpose.
“It also allows us to know what we need to track for the NHL Combine when we get there. Not just for the interview process, but also for the testing piece. There’s different things we’ll use but I just felt it was important that we get together and have these meetings before the combine.”
GETTING BACK TO NORMAL
Mann and the staff are looking forward to having face-to-face interviews plus fitness testing at the NHL Combine. Rob Mouland and Jeremy Benoitthe club’s strength and conditioning coaches, will both be on hand in Buffalo to help with player evaluations.
Interviews with prospects were done by Zoom the last couple of years and there wasn’t much in the way of fitness testing, unless it was provided by the agent.
“It’s a good experience for the players as well,” Mann said. “It’s going to help them to be able to sit in front of people and have a discussion about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. You can talk about the good and the bad and whatever else teams decide to ask them.
“But it’s important we get back to that normal process for both sides really. We got some good feed back from Shane Pinto, Josh Norris and Drake Batherson about their experiences at the combine. What they thought and why they thought it. Those are all good tools for us to use.”
This draft should be a little easier than the past two just because there’s been good viewings of the prospects in competitive situations.
“You get to go to games, you get to see the way a player is skating and some different aspects of their game. If you want to go back to video, you can always do that later,” Mann said. “I still feel there’s been some players who have been negatively impacted because their development path is going to be a bit longer. That’s just the reality of it.”
THE LAST WORDS
Even if the Senators don’t move the No. 7 selection for immediate help that doesn’t mean the club won’t make a deal.
The Senators have lots of prospects in the organization and one of those could be dangled to help the club get the help it needs to push for a playoff spot next season. Not all the players in the organization will have the opportunity to play in Ottawa.
“We have prospects in the pool that teams are watching,” Mann said. “They know what’s out there and maybe there’s somebody they really like and they feel can help them. Maybe it solves a problem for them.
“There’s all kinds of scenarios that will come into play. We’re at the point in the rebuild where it’s not shocking that Pierre is saying he’s listening. He has to legitimately listen to see if there’s something he can get that’s going to help us this year and in the near future.”