Last season was not a pretty one for the Ottawa Senators, but it was expected to be that way with a rebuilding club. That was especially true after the team traded star defenseman Erik Karlsson before the season began to the San Jose Sharks. Indeed, the Senators ended the 2018-2019 season as the NHL’s worst team, with only 64 points. The Senators’ roster to start the 2019-2020 season will look drastically different than it did a year ago. In addition to trading away Karlsson before the season, Ottawa dealt away Mike McKenna, Tom Pyatt, Ryan Dzingel, Matt Duchene and Matt Stone. Then, Cody Ceci and Ben Harpur were sent off in trades in the offseason, leading to almost a brand new roster for this season that will rely heavily on youngsters. Let’s take a further look at the Senators outlook.
The Senators will be replacing of their top scorers from last year. Stone (62) led the team in points, followed by Duchene (58). Dzingel (44) ranked sixth. That will mean Ottawa will be relying on the continued production of young players such as 19-year-old Brady Tkachuk (45), 22-year-old Colin White (41) and 24-year-old Anthony Duclair (33) on the top line. The second line will be centered by Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Tyler Ennis (signed as a free agent) and Connor Brown (added in the Ceci trade). They also have some sneaky depth at forward with players such as Bobby Ryan, Mikkel Boedker and Artem Anisimov.
On the back end, the continued development of 22-year-old top defenseman Thomas Chabat (55 points) will be counted on, and he’s expected to pair with offseason acquisition Ron Hainsey. Dylan DeMelo and Christian Wolanin are projected for the second defensive pairing, with Mark Borowiecki and Nikita Zaitsev rounding out the defense. Anders Nilsson, acquired in a mid-season trade last season, is projected to start in net, with veteran Craig Anderson backing him up.
The offseason excitement started early for the Senators when they dealt Ceci and Ben Harpur in exchange for Zaitsev and Brown from the Toronto Maple Leafs. They also added Hainsey and Ennis in free agency, as well as acquired Anisimov from the Chicago Blackhawks for Zack Smith. Perhaps the biggest signing of the offseason for the team, though, was actually a re-signing of one of their own. White signed a six-year contract extension that has an annual cap hit of $4.75 million. A lot is expected of the young White as well as the other Senators youthful players.
What the operators are saying
Despite some exciting young players on the team (led by White and Tkachuk), sportsbooks are not looking too favorably on the Senators’ prospects for the 2019-2020 season. They are currently expected to be the worst team in the entire NHL, with 250/1 odds to win the Eastern Conference and 500/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup. The next closest teams above them for the conference and Cup are the Detroit Red Wings (100/1) and Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks and Red Wings (200/1), respectively.
As such, fans and bettors can’t expect too much out of the Senators in terms of end-of-season success. However, the team does have a good amount of exciting youth in their lineup, and they could make some noise in certain games during the season. If you would like to bet on Ottawa Senators games this season, check out one of the online sportsbooks below.
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