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Finnigan's 8: Oct. 4, 2021

by Senators @Senators

Finnigan's 8 is a weekly recap highlighting eight top performing Ottawa Senators prospects.

Ridly Greig (Brandon/WHL)

Greig stole the headlines on Sept. 26 with a highlight reel goal against Winnipeg in what was his first NHL preseason contest. The 19-year-old also suited up for the Senators on Saturday in Montreal and was assigned to Brandon of the WHL on Sunday.

"Prior to camp, Ridley was able to add some size, which has been a focus point in his development. We thought that he was solid throughout camp, and he was challenged before the game in Winnipeg to bring his game to another level. I think he has shown everyone that he is going to bring a nice combination of skill and edge."
 - Trent Mann, Chief Amateur Scout, Ottawa Senators

Oliver Johansson (Timra/J20 Nationell)

Johansson has had a strong start to his 2021-22 regular season with Timra's U20 squad where in eight games, he's tallied four goals and 11 points.

He also recently suited up for Sweden's U20 team for the first time where he had one goal in three games.

"He made his debut on the U20 junior national team & has been able to produce offensively. He is a smart offensive 2-way forward who reads the game well all over the ice. He also has an ability to skate and make plays. He has been able to score when he is around the net. We are hoping that he will be able to get a lot of ice time with the U20 team, and still be able to practice with his SHL team. We want him to put in good training in the gym so that he is physically ready when it comes time to take the next step."
 - Anders Ostberg, European scout

Video: Oliver Johansson goal - Sept. 24, 2021

Mark Kastelic (Belleville/AHL)

Kastelic made his NHL preseason debut for the Senators on Sept. 26 during Ottawa's 3-2 overtime win in Winnipeg where he played 11:41 and won 56 per cent of his faceoffs. He followed that up with 10:04 of ice time in Friday's 7-2 victory over Montreal. 

A fifth round pick in 2019, Kastelic captained the Senators in Game 2 of their rookie series against Montreal. Kastelic had the game-winning goal in Game 1 of the two-game set against the Canadiens' rookies on Sept. 18.

"Mark is a team-first tireless worker who brings a positive attitude to the rink each day. He plays the game the right way and is well respected by his coaches and teammates."
 - Jesse Winchester, Senators development coach

Carson Latimer (Edmonton Oil Kings/WHL)

Latimer was part of the Sens rookies squad that swept Montreal in September and tallied an assist during the team's 4-3 win in Game 2.

The fourth round pick in 2021 was assigned to the WHL's Edmonton Oil Kings on Sept. 25 and in two regular season games this season, he is in search of his first point and has registered four shots on goal.  

"He is a good skater who generates speed. He has good acceleration and is quick on pucks with a good stick. We thought he showed well at the rookie tournament with Montreal. He was able to handle the pace of play and showed that he can play well at both ends of the ice. He especially showed that he can play a sound defensive game. We'd like him to improve on his shot and add some strength. Rounding out his offensive game will benefit him. We want him to take a more offensive role this year in junior."
 - George Fargher, Amateur Scout

Viktor Lodin (Timra/SHL)

Lodin's return to the Swedish Elite League has gotten off to a promising start with the 22-year-old scoring once and adding two assists over Timra's first five games of the season.

The 94th overall pick in 2019 signed his entry-level contract with the Senators June 1.

"Viktor came into the season in better shape and has taken a step forward since the last season. He should be able to play a lot of minutes and get time on the power play this season. We hope that he will be able to be a very important part of his team start to finish. We want Viktor to grow his role on the team as the season progresses."
 - Mikko Ruutu, Chief European Scout

Zack Ostapchuk (Vancouver/WHL)

It's been quite a week for Ostapchuk who on Wednesday penned his entry-level contract with the Senators and then made his NHL preseason debut later that night. 

Ostapchuk played a significant part in the Senators' rookies two-game sweep of Montreal in September and in his first preseason game against Toronto played 10:56, including 2:20 on the power play, and also took two minor penalties while registering one hit and one blocked shot. The 18-year-old was assigned to the WHL's Vancouver Giants on Sunday. 

"We were impressed with Zack's performance from rookie camp through main camp. He showed us that he has good power in his skating. He is someone who has very strong hockey sense and covers a lot of ice down the middle. He also has a high work ethic. At the pro level, he is going to have to execute a little quicker. Spending a little more time at the junior level will allow him to make the progress needed. We are excited to see what Zack can bring moving forward."
 - Pierre Dorion, General Manager, Ottawa Senators

Shane Pinto (Ottawa/NHL)

Pinto has had an exceptional preseason so far and it started last Sunday when he scored his first NHL preseason goal when he buried the overtime winner in a 3-2 win in Winnipeg. 

On Friday, Pinto tallied two assists in Ottawa's 7-2 victory over Montreal. During the Sens' two rookies games against Montreal, he scored once and wore the 'C' in Game 1 on Sept. 18. 

"He's arguably been one of our best players from rookie camp right through. He is a guy that can play the middle of the ice and a 200-foot game. He has ability on the penalty kill and powerplay. It looks like we've got ourselves a real good player, we've just got to take our time with him and make sure that we are developing him at the right speed. We want to avoid forcing too much on him too soon, but it looks like he is going to be a legitimate NHL centre."
 - D.J. Smith, Head Coach, Ottawa Senators

Lassi Thomson (Belleville/AHL)

Thomson has been very noticeable since returning to Ottawa with back-to-back dominant displays during the Senators' two-game sweep of their rookie series against Montreal. The Finnish d-man wore an 'A' in Game 2 where he also scored and added an assist. According to Troy Mann was "our best defenceman tonight."

He appeared in his first NHL preseason game on Sept. 26 in the Sens' 3-2 overtime win against Winnipeg where he registered an assist, two shots, three hits and logged 17:29 of ice time. He also played Wednesday against Toronto and Saturday in Montreal. 

"Lassi has drastically improved his stick detail and ability to end plays in the defensive zone. After spending last season with us, he has come to camp stronger and more confident with his understanding of the pro game in North America."
 - David Bell, assistant coach, Belleville Senators
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