Thursday, September 6, 2007

Rookie Camp Profiles Pt II

#67 - Steven DaSilva
Right wing - 6', 195 - Feb 10, 1987 - Saskatoon, SK

DaSilva had a breakout year in 2006-07 with the Kootenay Ice, recording 91 points and finishing second in the WHL scoring race, ahead of junior stars such as Zach Boychuk, Martin Hanzal and Peter Mueller, and behind only Zach Hamill. He led his team in every major statistical category, including goals, assists, points and penalty minutes. He is an intruiging prospect but went undrafted.
Projection: one of the most likely prospects on tryout to be offered an AHL contract.

2006-07 Kootenay Ice WHL 71 38 53 91 108
2006-07 Playoffs WHL 7 5 5 10 16

#56 - Kaspars Daugavins
Left wing - 5'11" 205 - May 18, 1988 - Riga, Latvia
One of the Senators most exciting prospects, Daugavins was drafted in the 3rd round in 2006 (91st overall), and spent the 2006-07 season with the St. Michael's Majors of the OHL. He joined the Binghamton Senators late in the season after St. Mike's had been eliminated from the playoffs, playing 11 games. Daugavins has substantial international experience, having represented Latvia in 5 tournaments over the past two seasons, including two World Junior Championships and two World Championships, a rarity for a player of his age. Stunningly, 18-year old Daugavins recorded 3 goals and 3 assists in the 2007 World Championships, playing against men over ten years his senior, from far stronger teams. He scored nearly a point per game playing as a rookie for a dismal St. Mike's club, and scored 2 goals for Binghamton later in the season. He was named to the OHL rookie first all-star team. Daugavins' best assets are his speed, skating ability, and playmaking ability. He has remarkable vision and an ability to anticipate the play. Daugavins has held his own at all levels, against peers and older players (in the AHL and WC). He is an extremely driven and determined player who doesn't coast on talent alone.
Projection: Will likely play in Binghamton last year as his play last season earned him the position, and while he is eligible to return to the OHL, it is unlikely he will do so. Daugavins appears to be one of the few forwards in the Senators prospect pool with top six potential, and as such will be given every opportunity to succeed.

2006-07 St. Michael’s Majors OHL 61 18 42 60 64
2006-07 Binghamton AHL 11 2 0 2 9
2006-07 Latvia WJC-U20 5 3 7 10 2
2006-07 Latvia WC 6 3 3 6 0
#41 - Tyler Donati
Right wing - 5'10", 190 - Oct 17, 1986 - Toronto, ON
Recently signed to a one-year AHL contract, Donati had a spectacular season with the Belleville Bulls of the OHL, finishing 3rd in the league in goals and 4th in points, behind only Patrick Kane, John Tavares (Kane was selected 1st overall in 2007; Tavares will be selected likewise 2009), and Sergei Kostitsyn - not bad company. In addition, he was named to the OHL's second all-star team, was named the top overaged player of the OHL, and participated in the OHL all-star game. Donati went undrafted, likely because of his lack of size, though with players like Martin St. Louis and Daniel Briere tearing up the league, it hardly seems an impediment this day and age. However, his remarkable season came as a 20-year old playing against kids as much as 3 or 4 years younger. Donati lacks the two-way play that would make him a likely candidate to make the big team (his AHL-only contract doesn't help matters either).
Projection: Donati is expected to make the Binghamton roster, quite possibly on a scoring line if he impresses in camp. Unlikely many of the undrafted invitees, Donati is not on a tryout and has already been signed to a contract, meaning he fits into the Binghamton Senators' plans for the next season in the eyes of General Manager Tim Murray.

2006-07 Belleville OHL 66 54 75 129 52
2006-07 Playoffs OHL 15 6 20 26 4
#30 - Brian Elliott
Goaltender - 6'2", 206 - April 9, 1985 - Newmarket, ON
Drafted in the 9th round (291st overall) of the 2003 draft, Elliott has been a slow burner but thanks to his remarkable last couple years in the CCHA, has vaulted up the Senators depth chart and is likely their top goaltending prospect at the moment. Elliott spent the full four years at the University of Wisconsin, in one of America's top hockey programmes. Coincidentally, Elliott was coached by Mike Eaves, father of Senators forward Patrick Eaves.

While his 2006-07 numbers weren't as remarkable as his record setting stats in 05-06, Elliott finished his University career with a 1.78 GAA, .931 save percentage, with 16 shutouts. Remarkably, these statistics put him in the top 6 for all-time goaltending statistics in WCHA history. Elliott collected an impressive amount of hardware, including WCHA goaltending champion two years in a row, being named a first-team All-American, NCAA Midwest Most Oustanding Player, being named to the Frozen Four All-Tournament team, and being a finalist for the Hobey Baker award as most oustanding player in collegiate hockey (all in 2005). He has some experience in Binghamton, having played 8 games with the club after his university career was completed in 2007.

Elliott is a tremendous technical goaltender, but also possesses outstanding athletic ability and huge size that allows him to cover a significant portion of the net, with the reflexes to quickly reach the areas his massive frame doesn't cover. He shows great composure in pressure-filled situations, and appears to have a solid head for the game. He has trouble with rebound control and reading the play in scramble-type situations with heavy traffic, however his keen eye and steadiness can probably help him improve in this area. His heart is in the game and it shows when he plays. Elliott should have some familiarity with other Senators prospects and players, having participated in three development camps with the team.

Projection: Elliott has made a career of exceeding expectations. He could very well supercede Jeff Glass as the Binghamton Senators starting goaltender by the time the 2007-08 season begins. It also wouldn't be a shock to see Elliott backing up Emery at the NHL level in two or three years time, though projecting the role of a goaltender is as unpredictable as anything. Still, Elliott's technical proficiency speaks well to his ability to translate his game to the NHL level.

2006-07 U. Wisconsin WCHA 36 15 17 2 2,053 72 5 2.10
2006-07 Binghamton AHL 8 3 4 0 425 30 0 4.24

#62 - Garrett Festerling
Centre - 5'9", 183 - March 3, 1986 - Quesnel, BC
A diminutive centre, Festerling is yet another undrafted player invited on a tryout to the Senators rookie camp. He lead the Regina Pats in points, and finished in the top 20 of WHL scoring. The 21-year old has an adequate offensive skillset but his size looks to be a serious impediment to any NHL aspirations. Garrett is the brother of former Vancouver Giants captain and current Anaheim Ducks property, blueliner Brett Festerling.
Projection: cut

2006-07 Regina WHL 67 22 51 73 46
2006-07 Playoffs WHL 10 5 7 12 16
2006-07 Oklahoma City (Playoffs) CHL 1 0 0 0 0

#71 - Nick Foligno
Centre - 6', 204 - Oct 31, 1987 - Buffalo, NY

Drafted in the first round of the 2006 draft (28th overall), Foligno is in the eyes of many observers, the top Senators prospect. I personally rank him around #3-4, with Hennessy, Lee, Zubov and Daugavins in the same range. The son of former NHLer Mike Foligno (who was also his coach in Sudbury), improved upon his excellent draft year in 2006-07. He lead the Sudbury Wolves in scoring for the second straight season and played a huge roll in his team's visit to the OHL Finals, also leading his team in playoff scoring. He served as Assistant Captain for the Wolves and played in the OHL all-star game.

Foligno is a heart and soul centre in the same vein as Mike Fisher (who, coincidentally, also spent his junior career with the Wolves). Foligno is strong on the forecheck and crashes the net with abandon. He doesn't avoid corners and plays a very prototypical "North American" game. He is a strong physical player even if he needs to add considerable bulk to his average frame. While he needs to improve on his consistency both in effort and execution, Foligno likely has the offensive tools to fight for a top six spot in the future, and certainly has the physical elements which will make him a valuable bottom-six player even if his offensive game does not translate at the NHL level. Still, he needs considerable work on his defensive game and as such time in the AHL is most likely a requirement at this point, before he joins a team like the Senators that relies on the defensive contributions of all of its players.

Foligno has shown a dogged determination to make the Senators roster in 2007. While it is unlikely he will do so as a full-time roster member simply because of the Senators depth, and his inexperience at the highest level, Foligno's determination is admirable and will likely result in a role as an injury call-up should his effort remain consistent. His father was an NHLer and Foligno's long-time coach and this should speak to good bloodlines; however, it will interesting to see how the younger Foligno performs without the guidance (or perhaps helping hand) of his father.

Projection: Foligno still has a year of junior eligibility, but it is unlikely he will return. The most likely scenario is a first or second line spot in Binghamton, with opportunity to serve as an injury callup should his play dictate it. Foligno still needs to bulk up considerably and there is no rush to get him into the Senators lineup, much as he may desire it.
2006-07 Sudbury OHL 66 31 57 88 135
2006-07 Sudbury OHL 21 12 17 29 36


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