When it comes to first round picks, the Ottawa Senators have had their share of swings and misses.
Brian Lee in 2005. Anybody know how Anze Kopitar turned out? Jim O’Brien in 2007. Where does P.K. Subban play these days? Jared Cowen in 2009. Is Ryan O’Reilly any good? Okay, okay. I’ll stop.
While the Entry Draft is known as a bit of a crap-shoot, it seems like the Senators have finally struck gold with two of their most recent draft picks. Ottawa picked twice in 2015 and it seems like they found a couple potential starts in Thomas Chabot and Colin White.
While it may be a little premature to pencil these two into next year’s lineup, it’s safe to say both players are expected to push for a spot on the team during this year’s Training Camp.
Colin White has seen his stock rise steadily since 2015. He was one of the top players in the NCAA during his two years at Boston College and earned league-wide recognition thanks to consecutive dominant performances at the World Junior Tournament. While he may not have the high-end skill of some of the more highly-touted prospects, his high hockey IQ and all-around game are off the charts. In fact, some experts have gone so far as to describe him as a Patrice Bergeron type.
Meanwhile in Thomas Chabot, the Senators have a player that has completely dominated junior hockey over the last two seasons. In the 78 games Chabot has played since the Senators selected him in 2015, he has an incredible 90 points (21 goals and 69 assists).
He racked up another 44 points in 35 playoff games with Saint John. He was one of the top players in the QMJHL last year, earning the award for top defenceman, personality of the year, and QMJHL playoff MVP honours.
And yet for all the recognition he received during his dominance in the Q, it was his performance at the World Juniors that really turned heads. Ten points in seven games and runaway winner of top defenceman honours. And if that’s not enough, he became the first defenceman in the history of the World Juniors to win Tournament MVP.
It’s important to keep realistic expectations when it comes to these two players. It’s entirely possible that both will need some time in Belleville before they make the jump to the National Hockey League, but if the last year is any indication, these two players are going to be quality NHL players in the future.