Updated: Oct 4, 2022
Additions: Alex DeBrincat, Claude Giroux, Cam Talbot, Tyler Motte, Jacob Larsson
Subtractions: Connor Brown, Matt Murray, Tyler Ennis, Chris Tierney, Zach Sanford, Michael Del Zotto, Adam Gaudette, Colin White, Victor Mete, Filip Gustavsson, Logan Shaw
The Senators didn't just make a splash this offseason, they made waves. Trading for DeBrincat and signing Giroux were huge newsworthy additions to the top-six forward group, and swapping out Murray and Gustavsson for Talbot in net adds another prominent name. Interestingly, the defense did not see any upgrades, so any improvement there rides on the shoulders of highly-touted rookie Jake Sanderson.
Probable For Opener: -None-
Questionable For Opener: Alex Formenton (Holdout)
Out To Begin Season: -None-
Out For Season: -None-
The Ottawa Senators expect to be fully healthy come the start of the season. The only question is in regards to the contract status of restricted free agent Alex Formenton.
(league ranks in parentheses)
Brady Tkachuk - Josh Norris - Drake Batherson
Alex DeBrincat - Tim Stutzle - Claude Giroux
Tyler Motte - Shane Pinto - Mathieu Joseph
Parker Kelly - Dylan Gambrell - Austin Watson
Thomas Chabot - Artem Zub
Jake Sanderson - Travis Hamonic
Erik Brannstrom - Nikita Zaitsev
The offense should be much improved, although the bottom six forwards don't project to add more in terms of scoring depth. The forwards will have to show they can be more defensively responsible in order to provide better value overall to the squad.
Goaltending is also a concern, as Talbot hasn't performed all that well the last few seasons and Forsberg should probably warrant more starts than he'll receive.
Snipers: Josh Norris
Playmakers: Brady Tkachuk
Volume Shooters: Brady Tkachuk
Shutdown Defenders: -None-
Shot Blockers: Travis Hamonic | Nikita Zaitsev
Hitters: Brady Tkachuk
Penalty Drawers: Brady Tkachuk | Claude Giroux | Tim Stutzle
PP Specialists: -None-
PK Specialists: Mathieu Joseph
Faceoff Specialists: Claude Giroux | Josh Norris | Dylan Gambrell
Studs: Brady Tkachuk, Alex DeBrincat
Duds: Cam Talbot
Sleepers: Jake Sanderson
Other Roster Worthy: Drake Batherson, Claude Giroux, Tim Stutzle, Thomas Chabot, Josh Norris
The fantasy relevant players in Ottawa are obvious, with Tkachuk and DeBrincat leading the pack. It should be noted that likely two of Batherson, Stutzle, and Norris will be relegated to the second powerplay unit, so some value will take a hit. We currently project Stutzle on the top unit with Tkachuk, DeBrincat, Giroux, and Chabot.
Talbot doesn't project high enough in goals-against average and save percentage to be drafted as high as he is going in redraft and best puck drafts, making him a poor value over replacement. Also, Sanderson is labeled as a sleeper due to the floor of even-strength value plus potential powerplay opportunity, especially if Chabot is injured at any point this season.
2022-2023 PuckLuck Projections
PuckLuck Projection: 76 points
Floor: 65 points Ceiling: 93 points
Projection Data Confidence: 65%
(League Average: 70%)
Stanley Cup: +30000
President's Trophy: +15000
DraftKings Sportsbook Lines:
Stanley Cup: +5500
President's Trophy: +10000
The Senators are a classic case in futures betting of overvaluing big-named offseason additions. There's no doubt that DeBrincat and Giroux will provide plenty of newfound offense, but the reality is that Ottawa was a bad team last year and DeBrincat and Giroux were unable to single-handedly lift their own respective bad teams last season.
On top of that, Matt Murray provided elite goaltending for the team down the stretch last season, and Talbot has not shown any sign of being able to match that performance. Therefore, it's hard to take a flier on the Senators winning anything this season.
Since the betting public is overrating the Sens, it should be easy to fade them early in the season. This is one of our favorite plays, along with betting the over early-on if the offensive production does trend up.
Division Projection: 7th
Conference Projection: 13th
League Projection: 26th
It's an uphill battle to the playoffs for the Senators to leapfrog five teams from last season's standings. They'll undoubtably be a more intriguing and fun team to watch, but, based off our projections, the Ottawa fans are likely in for a reality check.
The top storyline - besides the additions - will be the development of rookie Jake Sanderson who's tracking to become a superstar and is on the shortlist of Calder candidates.