Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion met with the media during the team's Western Canadian road trip to provide some updates on injuries, the young players in the line-up and more.
He started by sharing some more positive news in regards to the impending return of Erik Karlsson who continues to recover from off-season ankle surgery. Karlsson didn't join his teammates for the first road trip of the season and instead opted to stay in Ottawa and skate with development coach Shean Donovan.
"Erik Karlsson won't be joining us on this trip," said Dorion on Wednesday. "We're hopeful that he will play at some point in time next week."
Dorion also provided updates on his other injured defencemen and shared that Johnny Oduya is nearing a return which could come as soon as this Friday in Calgary. Ben Harpur, who suffered a shoulder injury in his first game with the club this season, is set to resume skating "in a few days."
The news on Colin White's injured wrist is also pretty positive as the young centre appears to be making big strides in his recovery. "He's skating and shooting the puck," Dorion relayed. "He'll meet with the doctor's next week but he is ahead of schedule."
With a glut of injuries early on, the Sens have relied on their prospect depth to start the season and so far the reviews from management have been pretty favourable. A pair of recent recalls from Belleville slotted into the defence corps on Tuesday in Vancouver and the Sens GM was happy with their contributions.
"What impressed me the most about Thomas Chabot was his ability to defend against bigger and stronger guys. He was able to pin them along the wall and separate them from the puck," Dorion said after Tuesday night's win. "And Christian Jaros threw a few big hits if I'm not mistaken. He played a solid game and went up the ice a few times. He had a presence out there and made good crisp passes so we were really happy with both defensemen."
The team also has a pair of prospects in the mix at forward with Logan Brown and Alex Formenton making the roster out of training camp. Neither is eligible to be sent to Belleville this season so the decision between the NHL and the CHL continues to be monitored.
"With Logan, we see a similar situation as with Thomas Chabot," Dorion said of his young centre. "Once he gets into another game then we'll have to assess that situation but whatever amount of time he spends here isn't going to hurt him so we might be a bit more patient with him."
While Brown is slightly more seasoned than Formenton, both continue to develop for the Senators but it's agreed the team's most recent second round draft pick needs to be on the ice.
"In Alex's case, he's got to play. Whether it's here or in Junior, he's definitely got to play," Dorion said. "He gave us 5 good minutes the other night so maybe in the next game it's a good 8 minutes but he needs to play."
A decision remains regarding Brown and Formenton before the first year of their entry-level contracts kick in, but the Sens GM is constantly looking to add to his team depth from both inside and outside of the organization.
"I make sure to speak with at least one GM," Dorion said of his daily routine. "It's funny right now because I think teams are all trying to feel out their own line-up. I've made a lot of calls and you're always watching the waiver wire but I think the most important thing is to watch what's going on in Belleville."
Dorion is also focused on his long-term vision for the Senators and continues to speak with impending unrestricted free agent centre Kyle Turris about a possible extension to keep him in Ottawa.
"Both parties are really working hard towards a contract," Dorion updated. "Kyle's a special player for us and there's no panic on our end. There's still 8 months before he's a UFA and we have a lot of faith that we can get something done."
The Sens' 3-game road trip continues this weekend in Calgary and Edmonton before returning to Ottawa for a 5 game home stand at Canadian Tire Centre. For more information on tickets and the schedule, click here.