Ottawa Senators Forwards Historical: The Power of Nine


With much discussion currently surrounding the arrival of Z-Day in Ottawa I wanted to see what history could teach us. I have decided to go back in Senators history and catalogue the first 9 games of every forward Ottawa has drafted since 1992. There are obviously some limitations to this list like development time (age at arrival), role of the individual, quality of linemate (see: Bochenski) and the fact that all of these players were drafted by the same team and the scope is rather narrow. It does also not include players who were aquired via trade or signed as undrafted free agents. It’s still interesting to see what Senators rookie forwards have done in their first 9 games and now the internet can have a resource for such foolish and trivial information.

As I compiled this list there were several things that really stood out as I went through the Senators draft history and the players stats:

1. As the team improves, so do rookies +/- stats. With the odd exception, the rookies generally benefit from playing on a superior team. Even as the franchise progressed, it’s clear most rookies in Ottawa have a hard time barely keeping their +/- above water. Still, by and large the numbers got better, if not more stable.

2. Very few players come out like Dambusters. Only Yashin, Daigle, Alfredsson, Tormanen, Havlat and Bochenski scored at a .5 PPG clip through their first 9 games (ie. 5pts+).

3. There were no forwards from the 1995, 2002, 2007, 2009 or 2010 draft class to play in at least 9 games for the Senators.

4. Those who get into 9 games usually have respectable NHL careers. Out of the 30 forwards who are eligible for this list only 8 kinda fluttered before fading away. Those players were Jelinek, Tormanen, Ciernik, Langfeld, Schastlivy, Bochenski, Dahlman and Zubov. Over the course of 20 years, that means the Senators on average produce one solid NHL forward per draft. At a quick glance the Senators have also drafted 10 defencemen who have at least 200 games under their belt in the NHL. Although, that’s another discussion for another day.

5. Mika is not alone in his early season offensive struggles. Some pretty decent players have also had a hard time finding the net early on.

6. A number of Senators have played at least 9 games in their draft year. Demitra, Jelinek, Daigle, Bonk, Dackell, Arvedsson and Dahlman all managed at least 9 games while Marian came close, suiting up for 7.

So here is the list. Every player is listed in order of their draft year and contains the stats through their first 9 games. In some cases, players played their first 9 games split between 2 seasons. When that happened, I simply took the stats from their first 9 games overall and listed the games played over the 2 seasons.

Alexei Yashin
Draft: 2nd, 1992
First 9 GP: 1993-94: 6G, 4A, -2
Played in 83 games in 1993-94

Tomas Jelinek
Draft: 242nd, 1992
First 9 GP: 1992-93: 1G, 1A, -10
Played in 49 games in 1992-93

Alexandre Daigle
Draft: 1st, 1993
First 9 GP: 1993-94: 5G, 8A, -2
Played in 84 games in 1993-94

Pavol Demitra
Draft: 227th, 1993
First 9 GP: 1993-94: 1G, 1A, -5
Played in 12 games in 1993-94

Radek Bonk
Draft: 3rd, 1994
First 9 GP: 1994-95: 1G, 0A, -2
Played in 42 games in 1994-95

Daniel Alfredsson
Draft: 133rd, 1994
First 9 GP: 1995-96: 1G, 7A, -1
Played in 82 games in 1995-96

Antti Tormanen
Draft: 274th, 1994
First 9 GP: 1995-96: 3G, 4A, -1
Played in 50 games in 1995-96

Andreas Dackell
Draft: 136th, 1996
First 9 GP: 1996-97: 2G, 1A, -2
Played in 79 games in 1996-97

Ivan Ciernik
Draft: 216th, 1996
First 9 GP: 1997-98/2000-01/2001-02: 2G, 1A, +6
Played in 2 games in 1997-98, 4 games 2001-01 and 23 games in 2001-02

Marian Hossa
Draft: 12th, 1997
First 9 GP: 1997-98/1998-99: 0G, 1A, -1
Played in 7 games in 1997-98 and 60 games in 1998-99

Josh Langfeld
Draft: 66th, 1997
First 9 GP: 2001-02/2002-03: 0G, 0A, +2
Played in 1 game in 2001-02 and 12 games in 2002-03

Magnus Arvedsson
Draft: 119th, 1997.
First 9 GP: 1997-98: 0G, 3A, 0
Played in 61 games in 1997-98

Mke Fisher
Draft: 44th, 1998
First 9 GP: 1999-00: 1G, 3A, +1
Played 32 games in 1999-00

Petr Schastlivy
Draft: 101st, 1998
First 9 GP: 1999-00: 0G, 4A, 0
Played in 13 games in 1999-00

Martin Havlat
Draft: 26th, 1999
First 9 GP: 2000-01: 3G, 2A, +3
Played in 73 games in 2000-01

Chris Neil
Draft: 161st, 1998
First 9 GP: 2001-02: 0G, 1A, 0
Played in 72 games in 2001-02

Chris Kelly
Draft: 94th, 1999
First 9 GP: 2003-04/2005-06: 0G, 0A, -1
Played in 4 games in 2003-04 and 82 in 2005-06

Antoine Vermette
Draft: 55th, 2000
First 9 GP: 2003-04: 0G, 1A, +2
Played in 57 games in 2003-04

Jason Spezza
Draft: 2nd, 2001
First 9 GP: 2002-03: 1G, 3A, -6
Played in 33 games in 2002-03

Brandon Bochenski
Draft: 223rd, 2001
First 9 GP: 1G, 4A, +5
Played in 20 games in 2005-06

Toni Dahlman
Draft: 286th, 2001
First 9 GP: 0G, 1A, -1
Played in 10 games in 2001-02

Patrick Eaves
Draft: 29th, 2003
First 9 GP: 2005-06: 3G, 1A, +4
Played in 58 games in 2005-06

Peter Regin
Draft: 87th, 2004
First 9 GP: 1G, 1A, +1
Played in 11 games in 2008-09

Cody Bass
Draft: 95th, 2005
First 9 GP: 2007-08: 1G, 1A, +1
Played in 21 games in 2007-08

Ilya Zubov
Draft: 98th, 2005
First 9 GP: 2007-08/2008-09: 0G, 2A, -1
Played in 1 game in 2007-08 and 10 games in 2008-09

Colin Greening
Draft: 204th, 2005
First 9 GP: 2010-11: 1G, 2A, +2
Played in 24 games in 2010-11

Nick Foligno
Draft: 28th, 2006
First 9 GP: 2007-08: 1G, 0A, +1
Played in 45 games in 2007-08

Erik Condra
Draft: 211th, 2006
First 9 GP: 2010-11: 2G, 2A, 0
Played in 26 games in 2010-11

Zack Smith
Draft: 79th, 2008
First 9 GP: 2008-09/2009-10: 2G, 0A, +1
Played in 1 game in 2008-09 and 15 games in 2009-10

Mika Zibanejad
Draft: 6th, 2011
First 8 GP: 2011-12: 0G, 1A, -3
Played in 8 games in 2011-12 as of October 24, 2011

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