When the Ottawa Senators announced Sunday that the team had assigned defenseman Christian Jaros to the Belleville Senators of the AHL, it meant that the Senators intend on keeping top prospect Erik Brannstrom on the team, according to Sportsnet’s Kyle Bukauskas.
The 20-year-old had an impressive camp, but more importantly is a good look for the Senators who traded away star Mark Stone for the young defensive phenom. The Golden Knights sent Brannstrom, Oscar Lindberg (now playing in the NLA) and a 2020 second-round pick. If Brannstrom makes his mark quickly, it would help make the Stone trade more palatable.
Brannstrom, the 15th overall pick in 2017, played 50 games in the AHL between the Chicago Wolves and the Belleville Senators, scoring seven goals and 32 points in that time.
- TSN’s Kristen Shilton reports that Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock confirmed that defenseman Rasmus Sandin is going to make Toronto’s opening day roster. “We got four [defencemen]…and, well, Sandin,” said Babcock. Sandin, the team’s first-round pick in 2018, was impressive in his first year with the Toronto Marlies in the AHL last season at 18 years of age, scoring six goals and 28 points in 44 games, and has been extremely impressive during the preseason so far.
- The Athletic’s George Richards reports that with the cuts of Owen Tippett, Dominic Toninato and Riley Stillman, the Florida Panthers have essentially announced that defenseman Josh Brown and forward Dryden Hunt have made the team. The 25-year-old Brown played 37 games for the Panthers last season, while the 23-year-old Hunt got into 31 games, scoring three goals and 10 points.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning could be without two players for opening night after Cedric Paquette and Tyler Johnson suffered injuries in Saturday’s final preseason game. NHL.com’s Corey Long reports that Paquette left the game with his right arm in a sling after taking a hit from Florida’s Stillman and his status remains in question for the season opener, while Johnson didn’t return to the bench in the third period, but head coach Jon Cooper said he was removed as a precaution and likely will be fine.
- Boston Globe’s Matt Porter reports that despite a solid preseason, forward Anders Bjork is likely going to start the season in Providence in the AHL with the hope that he can gain some consistency after shoulder injuries have derailed his last two seasons. Bjork played just 20 games for the Bruins last season.