Part of building a winning program in the NHL is finding a level of consistency throughout the multi-tiered development system. For the rebuilding Ottawa Senators, the development their prospects receive at the AHL level is almost as important as the success of the NHL team in the standings. Today, they have secured some of that minor league consistency, extending Belleville Senators head coach Troy Mann for another two seasons. Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion explained just how important it was to bring Mann back:
When we hired Troy three summers ago, we knew we were getting someone who had a strong track record in developing players. With where we were as an organization at that time, and with all that has transpired with regards to stockpiling prospects since, the timing could not have been better. Troy has played a vital role in helping with both the development and preparation of countless players, many of whom have recently assumed important roles in Ottawa. We’re pleased to reach an agreement with Troy to see him return to Belleville.
Mann, 51, came to Belleville after serving for many years with the Hershey Bears. Though he is still looking for that elusive Calder Cup, he is no stranger to the playoffs, taking the Bears to the finals in 2016. That was a valuable stepping stone for young players like Chandler Stephenson and Jakub Vrana, who would end up being key parts of the 2018 Washington Capitals Stanley Cup championship.
In Belleville, there is an endless parade of high-end prospects to deal with as Ottawa continues to collect as many draft picks as possible. The team once again has an extra second-round pick in this year’s draft and will be adding another top-10 prospect to the mix in the first round.