As the Sens prospects get set for this weekend's Rookie Tournament in London, we rundown expectations and who to watch with Assistant GM Randy Lee.
On Nick Paul being named captain of the Sens rookie squad for the entire tournament:
We said he's going to be the captain of the team. If there's a chance he doesn't play a game for whatever reason then we'll replace him but he came into camp with a really good attitude. He's been working really hard so we thought he was the guy to be the leader of this team.
On Paul making a pre-training camp impression at this tournament:
We have a new coaching staff so he has to audition all over again and he did a really good job of that at Development Camp so now he can't take his foot off the gas. He has to have a really good Rookie Tournament. The Rookie Tournament is there to get guys promoted to the main camp.
On Thomas Chabot responding after the message sent at Development Camp:
We weren't upset with Thomas, we just felt he should have been more engaged and we had high expectations for him because he had such a great year last year. He had a really good World Juniors so we expected more out of him at Development Camp. That's our job, to tell him what we expected and now it's up to him to perform for Guy and show what he can do at this camp.
On what he's looking for out of Chabot this weekend:
To be more engaged, to be more of a threat. He wasn't dogging it by any means but we just felt that the expectations we have for him as a player because of what he did last year is that he would really make a good impression on Guy. I went to bat and told Guy what to expect out of this guy and it just wasn't there. And he understood, he agreed, he acknowledged it and owned it.
On the opportunities in front of Chabot during this camp:
When you look at the way our team is right now there's an open spot and I think for him to approach it he should go in and say that "I want to fight for that spot". It's a big difference...you either make the team or you go back to Junior.
On Francis Perron's development since last year's Rookie Tournament:
We challenged him last year and we've always liked his skill set. We didn't really like his complete package and we challenged him. Shean Donovan worked with him hard and we pushed him really hard and he delivered last year. He became a really good, complete player in all aspects of the game. He was a good captain, he was a good leader, he was a good role model and we said "We don't care if you score goals #5 and #6 in a 6-1 win but we want you to score goal #2 when you're coming back or we want you on the ice when you're protecting a lead". He did that.
On the expectations for Andreas Englund during Rookie Camp:
He's always made a good impression at Development Camp but because he's a European guy that we've never seen at the Rookie Tournament he has to show us. He knows what type of player he is, he's a shutdown type guy, he's hard to play against but he has to now transition his game from the European ice to the North American ice and that will be an adjustment for him. He's looking forward to it.
On the benefits of having to goaltenders with AHL experience during this tournament:
For sure but as we started last year they were rookie American League goaltenders. We believe in these guys and we think they both have a bright future with us so what we wanted to do was to make sure that we have a full-time goaltender development coach now to work with them. They got to work with Pierre Groulx at our Development Camp and they have a relationship with Kory Cooper so we wanted to make sure that we took those guys and gave them to Rookie Tournament to build off of.
On the line of Filip Ahl, Logan Brown and Gabriel Gagne at yesterday's skate:
We don't have a big group going to London so we're just playing around with the lines but Logan is another guy who had a really good Development Camp. I think he caught the eye of coach Boucher. We knew him as a player so we're really excited to get him in our organization but he had a good camp and we're going to give him all the opportunity in the world to have a really good rookie tournament.
On prospects to keep an eye on at this tournament:
I think a guy like Gabriel Gagne is one of those guys that could go to Binghamton if we signed him out of camp so he's fighting for a contract. I think he thinks he's ready to turn pro and he had a good Development Camp so we're going to look at him to see how he does. Macoy Erkamps is a guy that we signed as a Junior free agent. He's a character guy, a hard to play against guy, had a really good season last year and he's a guy that looked really good today. We're excited to see what he can do.
On Kurt Kleinendorst returning as coach of the Binghamton Senators:
It's good because this year we have a real focus on making sure that the American Hockey League team plays a very similar system to the NHL team. Marc Crawford is going to be the coaching liaison between the two teams. We're going to use the same terminology, same type of approach so it's going to help our players when they do get called up adapting to the NHL game will be a lot easier for them.