- The Senators had some trade talks regarding recently-waived center Zack Smith but Ottawa was hoping to avoid taking a contract in the return, reports Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch. Considering he has three years and $9.75MM left on his contract, it’s understandable to think that teams that have interest would want to offset the money somewhat which has led to the team putting him on waivers in the hopes that a team would assume the remainder of the contract for free. Garrioch spoke with some general managers around the league and they indicated that it’s unlikely that Smith will be picked up.
The Ottawa Senators have added another layer to their pipeline, announcing today that they have agreed to a one-year affiliation agreement with the ECHL’s Brampton Beast. As with all NHL-ECHL relationships, the Ottawa Senators and AHL’s Belleville Senators will be able to assign players to Brampton in 2018-19. The Beast were most recently affiliated with the rival Montreal Canadiens and their AHL team, the Laval Rocket. However, Montreal will not have a specific affiliate this season, opting instead to send some players to Brampton and others to nearby clubs like the Maine Mariners.
Brampton is a logical fit for the Senators, located in Ontario not far from Toronto, a quick flight or manageable drive from Ottawa or Belleville. The Senators were formerly affiliated with the Wichita Thunder, but gave up that exclusive relationship prior to last season. Ottawa used Wichita sparingly, as well as Brampton, last year despite a lack of a formal relationship, and the Thunder took on a new parent club in the Edmonton Oilers. Now, the Senators are back in the ECHL officially and may use Brampton more frequently due to its proximity.
With this agreement in place, the number of unaffiliated NHL and ECHL clubs drops again. There has been much movement in the ECHL this off-season, but with the Vegas Golden Knights and Fort Wayne Komets linking up, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Orlando Solar Bears making a reasonable match, and the Atlanta Gladiators adding the Nashville Predators on alongside the Boston Bruins, very few teams have yet to be paired up with the season about to begin. Currently, the Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, and San Jose Sharks are without an ECHL affiliate, while the Greenville Swamp Rabbits and Rapid City Rush are without parent clubs. The Panthers and South Carolina-based Swamp Rabbits would seem to be an easy match, but only time will tell if and when any further relationships are formed this season.
A substantial group of players again went untouched on the waiver wire yesterday, as there remains just one claim so far this season. Today, a new set of names become briefly available on their way down to the AHL. According to The Athletic’s James Mirtle, these 18 players have been placed on waivers by their respective teams today, highlighted by Ottawa’s longest-tenured player:
F Anton Blidh (Boston)
F Colby Cave (Boston)
D Jake Chelios (Detroit)
F Hudson Fasching (Arizona)
F Byron Froese (Montreal)
D Cody Goloubef (Boston)
F Ryan Haggerty (Pittsburgh)
D Brett Lernout (Montreal)
F Nick Lappin (New Jersey)
F Michael McCarron (Montreal)
F Mark McNeill (Boston)
D Robbie Russo (Arizona)
G Harri Sateri (Detroit)
F Hunter Shinkaruk (Montreal)
F Zack Smith (Ottawa)
F Jordan Szwarz (Boston)
F Chris Terry (Detroit)
D Rinat Valiev (Montreal)
Obviously, Smith is the star of this group and easily the biggest name to hit the wire so far this year. The decision to placed the veteran forward, a career Senator entering his eleventh season, on waivers is a curious one. Admittedly, Smith did not play well last season; beyond only recording 19 points in 68 games, he logged a brutal -32 rating, saw a drop-off in face-off success, and struggled in many possession metrics. Nevertheless, he remained a favorite of head coach Guy Boucher and saw a career high in ice time. After losing the likes of Erik Karlsson and Mike Hoffman this summer, Smith – while not the strongest player – was one of the few loyal locker room leaders left in Ottawa. There has already been a negative response, as Matt Duchene called the move “a kick in the balls” for the locker room, according to TSN’s Brent Wallace. For some reason, the team has decided to move on, one way or another. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the Senators have been shopping Smith for some time and had trade interest, but were not able to come to an agreement with any of the teams not included on Smith’s limited list per his modified No-Trade Clause. Now, they will either lose him for nothing in return or have the ability to bury him in the minors if he clears. Such a demotion would clear $1.025MM in cap space of his $3.25MM salary. It is important to note when considering any potential claims, that Smith is signed for three more years, making his inclusion on waivers even more surprising.
The group of Canadiens could also offer some appeal, particularly the 23-year-old power forward McCarron. Although the 2013 first-round pick has not lived up to expectations yet, he has the one thing you can’t teach and that is size. At 6’6″, 230-lbs., McCarron has the frame to do some damage at his spot on the right wing if put in the right system with the right line mates. It hasn’t happened yet in Montreal, but some other team may be willing to take a shot. Veteran grinder Froese, who played in 48 games with the Habs last year, could also get a passing glance, while trade recent Montreal trade acquisitions Shinkaruk and Valiev are somewhat intriguing albeit not likely to be claimed.
Team in search of young, affordable fourth line help could look at the Bruins’ Blidh and Cave, although such a move is unlikely. The same goes for Haggerty, whose placement on waivers comes as surprise, given that no contract has of yet been announced with Pittsburgh for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguin.
Anaheim Ducks prospect Jack Perbix has made a decision on his hockey future. The Minnesota native announced on his personal Twitter yesterday that he has committed to the flagship school of his home state, the University of Minnesota. Perbix, who dominated Minnesota high school hockey last year with 61 points in 25 games at Elk River, earned himself a fourth-round selection back in June. He now heads to the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL this season, before joining the Gophers next year. The only question that remains is just how long Perbix remains at the college level. While he may not be an extraordinarily high draft pick, Perbix has the skill to break out in the NCAA and could then press for an opportunity in Anaheim. Right wing is a long-term position of need for the Ducks and one that would grow more dire should they lose Jakob Sifverberg to free agency this year. If Perbix continues to improve and show that he can handle tougher competition, he could be joining the NHL far sooner than after four years at school.
- Matt Barnaby, who shares his name with father and former NHLer Matthew Barnaby, has also committed to his school of choice. The 20-year-old forward announced via Twitter that he has decided to join Penn State University next season. While the Nittany Lions have vastly improved since joining the NCAA level in 2012, Barnaby is nevertheless one of the bigger names to join the program. Last season, Barnaby finished third in scoring in the junior-A Central Canada Hockey League, recording 76 points in 62 games for the Pembroke Lumber Kings. The Buffalo native has since joined the USHL’s Chicago Steel with high expectations for the campaign. Although Barnaby was undrafted through three years of NHL Draft eligibility, he will still join Penn State with substantial buzz and will be a player to watch for in the NCAA for years to come.
- Former Clarkson University standout defenseman Kelly Summers has not had the off-season that he hoped for or many expected. One of the top unsigned college free agents to hit the market in August, Summers was coming off a 30-point campaign for the Golden Knights and seemed headed for an entry-level contract or at least a promising AHL situation. After all, frequent Clarkson pair mate – and one with slightly less production – Terrance Amorosa signed with the San Diego Gulls early on. However, that never came to fruition and now Summers has had to settle for an AHL tryout, as he was included on the Belleville Senators’ camp roster. Ironically, Ottawa was the team that initially drafted Summers in the seventh round in 2014, so Summers really has not made much progress at all in a disappointing free agency experience.
As training camps roll on, teams continue to thin the herd. Yesterday saw twelve different teams make substantial cuts and the same can be expected today. The Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning got things started early this morning, but we’ll keep track of cuts right here throughout the day:
Arizona Coyotes (via team release)
F Brayden Burke (to Tucson, AHL)
F Trevor Cheek (to Tucson, AHL)
F Matteo Gennaro (to Tucson, AHL)
F Adam Helewka (to Tucson, AHL)
D Pierre-Olivier Joseph (to Charlottetown, QMJHL)
G Merrick Madsen (to Tucson, AHL)
Buffalo Sabres (via team Twitter)
F Tyler Randell (to Rochester, AHL)
Dallas Stars (per team release)
F Nick Caamano (to Texas, AHL)
F Tony Calderone (to Texas, AHL)
G Philippe Desrosiers (to Texas, AHL)
D Ben Gleason (to Texas, AHL)
D Shane Hanna (released from PTO)
D Niklas Hansson (to Texas, AHL)
F Samuel Laberge (released from PTO)
F Joel L’Esperance (to Texas, AHL)
F Colin Markison (released from PTO)
D Chris Martenet (to Texas, AHL)
F Adam Mascherin (to Texas, AHL)
F Robbie Payne (released from ATO)
F James Phelan (released from ATO)
G Colton Point (to Texas, AHL)
D Ondrej Vala (to Texas, AHL)
Los Angeles Kings (per team release)
Nashville Predators (per team release)
D Frederic Allard (to Milwaukee, AHL)
D Alexandre Carrier (to Milwaukee, AHL)
D Matt Donovan (released from PTO)
D Jack Dougherty (to Milwaukee, AHL)
F Jeremy Gregoire (released from PTO)
F Tanner Jeannot (to Milwaukee, AHL)
F Justin Kirkland (to Milwaukee, AHL)
F Matt Lane (released from PTO)
D Joonas Lyytinen (to Milwaukee, AHL)
G Thomas McCollum (released from PTO)
F Zachary Magwood (to Milwaukee, AHL)
F Tyler Moy (to Milwaukee, AHL)
F Mathieu Olivier (released from PTO)
F Alex Overhardt (released from PTO)
F Carl Persson (to Milwaukee, AHL)
F Emil Pettersson (to Milwaukee, AHL)
D Filip Pyrochta (to Milwaukee, AHL)
F Anthony Richard (to Milwaukee, AHL)
G Miroslav Svoboda (to Milwaukee, AHL)
F Yakov Trenin (to Milwaukee, AHL)
F Brandon Baddock (to Binghamton, AHL)
F Nathan Bastian (to Binghamton, AHL)
D Jocktan Chainey (to Halifax, QMJHL)
F Brandon Gignac (to Binghamton, AHL)
D Josh Jacobs (to Binghamton, AHL)
G Cam Johnson (to Binghamton, AHL)
D Michael Kapla (to Binghamton, AHL)
G Akira Schmid (to Lethbridge, WHL)
F Yegor Sharangovich (to Binghamton, AHL)
D Colby Sissons (to Binghamton, AHL)
F Blake Speers (to Binghamton, AHL)
D Colton White (to Binghamton, AHL)
New York Islanders (via team Twitter)
D Kyle Burroughs (to Bridgeport, AHL)
Ottawa Senators (per team release)
F Rudolfs Balcers (to Belleville, AHL)
F Drake Batherson (to Belleville, AHL)
F Logan Brown (to Belleville, AHL)
D Andreas Englund (to Belleville, AHL)
D Macoy Erkamps (to Belleville, AHL)
F Gabriel Gagne (to Belleville, AHL)
G Filip Gustavsson (to Belleville, AHL)
G Marcus Hogberg (to Belleville, AHL)
F Joseph Labate (to Belleville, AHL)
F Boston Leier (to Belleville, AHL)
F Aaron Luchuk (to Belleville, AHL)
D Stuart Percy (to Belleville, AHL)
F Jack Rodewald (to Belleville, AHL)
F Ryan Scarfo (to Belleville, AHL)
F Andrew Sturtz (to Belleville, AHL)
F Chase Balisy (waivers, for purpose of Belleville, AHL)
D Julius Bergman (waivers, for purpose of Belleville, AHL)
D Erik Burgdoerfer (waivers, for purpose of Belleville, AHL)
F Nick Paul (waivers, for purpose of Belleville, AHL)
F Ben Sexton (waivers, for purpose of Belleville, AHL)
D Patrick Sieloff (waivers, for purpose of Belleville, AHL)
F Adam Tambellini (waivers, for purpose of Belleville, AHL)
F Jack Skille (released from PTO)
Pittsburgh Penguins (per team release)
F Anthony Angello (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL)
F Teddy Blueger (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL)
F Joseph Cramarossa (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL)
F Thomas Di Pauli (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL)
D Stefan Elliott (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL pending waivers)
F Ryan Haggerty (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL)
F Jimmy Hayes (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL pending waivers)
F Adam Johnson (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL)
F Sam Lafferty (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL)
F Tobias Lindberg (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL pending waivers)
F Sam Miletic (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL)
G John Muse (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL pending waivers)
D Will O’Neill (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL)
F Linus Olund (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL)
D Ethan Prow (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL pending waivers)
D Chris Summers (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL pending waivers)
D Jeff Taylor (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL)
F Garrett Wilson (to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL pending waivers)
San Jose Sharks (per team release)
F Tim Clifton (placed on waivers for purpose of sending to San Jose)
D Nick DeSimone (to San Jose, AHL)
D Cavan Fitzgerald (to San Jose, AHL)
F Noah Gregor (to San Jose, AHL)
F Jayden Halbgewachs (to San Jose, AHL)
F Maxim Letunov (to San Jose, AHL)
F Jake McGrew (to Spokane, WHL)
D Jacob Middleton (to San Jose, AHL)
D Keaton Middleton (to San Jose, AHL)
F Francis Perron (to San Jose, AHL)
F Vincent Praplan (to San Jose, AHL)
F Lukas Radil (to San Jose, AHL)
D Jeremy Roy (to San Jose, AHL)
F Alex True (to San Jose, AHL)
F Manuel Wiederer (to San Jose, AHL)
D Kyle Wood (to San Jose, AHL)
Tampa Bay Lightning (per team release)
F Olivier Archambault (to Syracuse, AHL)
F Alex Barre-Boulet (to Syracuse, AHL)
G Corbin Boes (to Syracuse, AHL)
F Troy Bourke (to Syracuse, AHL)
F Michael Bournival (to Syracuse, AHL)
F Brady Brassart (to Syracuse, AHL)
F Ross Colton (to Syracuse, AHL)
D Cal Foote (to Syracuse, AHL)
D Cameron Gaunce (to Syracuse, AHL)
G Connor Ingram (to Syracuse, AHL)
F Boris Katchouk (to Syracuse, AHL)
D Hubert Labrie (to Syracuse, AHL)
F Alexey Lipanov (to Syracuse, AHL)
F Kevin Lynch (to Syracuse, AHL)
D Dominik Masin (to Syracuse, AHL)
G Eddie Pasquale (to Syracuse, AHL)
F Taylor Raddysh (to Syracuse, AHL)
F Otto Somppi (to Syracuse, AHL)
D Oleg Sosunov (to Syracuse, AHL)
D Matt Spencer (to Syracuse, AHL)
F Jonne Tammela (to Syracuse, AHL)
D Ben Thomas (to Syracuse, AHL)
F Carter Verhaeghe (to Syracuse, AHL)
F Daniel Walcott (to Syracuse, AHL)
F Dennis Yan (to Syracuse, AHL)
Vancouver Canucks (via Postmedia’s Ben Kuzma)
Vegas Golden Knights (via team release)
After 25 players were placed on waivers Friday and another seven Saturday (all of which cleared), the biggest yet came today with 35 more players being placed on waivers, according to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie.
F Andy Andreoff (Tampa Bay)
F Chase Balisy (Ottawa)
D Julius Bergman (Ottawa)
F Connor Brickley (Nashville)
G Peter Budaj (Los Angeles)
F Michael Bunting (Arizona)
D Erik Burgdoerfer (Ottawa)
F Tim Clifton (San Jose)
F Gabriel Dumont (Tampa Bay)
D Stefan Elliott (Pittsburgh)
F Kurtis Gabriel (New Jersey)
F Tyler Gaudet (Nashville)
D Cameron Gaunce (Tampa Bay)
G Troy Grosenick (Nashville)
F Jimmy Hayes (Pittsburgh)
G Maxime Lagace (Vegas)
F Tobias Lindberg (Pittsburgh)
F Stefan Matteau (Vegas)
G John Muse (Pittsburgh)
G Eddie Pasquale (Tampa Bay)
F Nick Paul (Ottawa)
F Blake Pietila (New Jersey)
F Kevin Porter (Buffalo)
D John Ramage (New Jersey)
D Griffin Reinhart (Vegas)
F Ben Sexton (Ottawa)
D Patrick Sieloff (Ottawa)
D Brian Strait (New Jersey)
D Chris Summers (Pittsburgh)
F Adam Tambellini (Ottawa)
F Eric Tangradi (New Jersey)
D Jarred Tinordi (Nashville)
F T.J. Tynan (Vegas)
F Carter Verhaeghe (Tampa Bay)
F Garrett Wilson (Pittsburgh)
One of the more interesting players put on waivers is Reinhart, the fourth-overall pick back in 2012, who the Golden Knights took a flier on in the expansion draft. The 6-foot-4, 212-pound blueliner has never been able to match his size and skills together to make considerable NHL contributions. It was no different in Vegas, where the now 24-year-old never made an NHL appearance for the Golden Knights. He played 60 games for the AHL’s Chicago Wolves where he posted just two goals and 12 points.
Budaj, who has been a solid goaltender in previous year, may be past his prime as the 36-year-old couldn’t make an impact in Tampa Bay or Los Angeles last year, both places where they had backup goaltending issues at one point in the season last year. In eight games with the Lightning last year, he posted a 3.75 GAA and a .876 save percentage.
Other interesting players who saw significant NHL time last season include Andreoff, Brickley, Hayes, Dumont and Lagace.
- While the Senators stated that they had offered a long-term extension to defenseman Erik Karlsson back on July 1st, the blueliner told Postmedia’s Michael Traikos that he hadn’t spoken to GM Pierre Dorion or owner Eugene Melnyk since November when the team requested his no-trade list. He wound up being flipped to San Jose earlier this month and while no extension has been agreed upon just yet, GM Doug Wilson stated that he’s “very comfortable with the situation”. If they want to work out a max-term contract though, they will have to wait until after the trade deadline on February 25th.
Much has been made of the dwindling core of the Ottawa Senators. Erik Karlsson and Mike Hoffman are gone, Craig Anderson is nearing retirement, and the teams top three forwards are impending unrestricted free agents – that would be Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, and Ryan Dzingel. Given the current state and direction of the team, it has been estimated by many that all three could opt for the open market next summer. Stone took a direct approach to those rumors this week, stating that he loves Ottawa and wants to remain with the Senators.
As TSN’s Frank Servalli writes, Duchene is not so eager to decide one way or the other on his future. Earlier this off-season, Duchene said that an extension is something that he would definitely consider, but wanted to see how things go this year. Since then, it has gone from bad to worse in Ottawa with the departure of key players, as well as ownership and the front office committing to a rebuild. It seems very unlikely that the season will go well for the Senators, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will sour Duchene on sticking around. Duchene called last year a “disaster”, both personally and for the Senators and is looking for a fresh take this season. In his first full season with the team, Duchene’s individual performance and his fit in the locker room and in Ottawa’s long-term plan is instead what will likely dictate his next move. Duchene appreciates being close to home in Ottawa and could cherish a role as a leader with the Senators. Then again, polarizing owner Eugene Melnyk has been apprehensive about awarding expensive contracts and Duchene could decide after a strong season that he has a much better chance at getting market value and finding a winning situation with another team.
Sens fans would love to hear that Duchene is committed to the team, and sooner rather than later. After all, Ottawa gave up quite the package to acquire him from the Colorado Avalanche early last season, including what could turn out to be the top overall pick in next year’s entry draft. However, given their recent rash of bad luck, those same fans would rather Duchene be patient with his decision than be yet another player hoping to be dealt away. Unlike Stone, who – after going through the arbitration process – may not re-sign until after January 1st, Duchene is eligible to ink an extension already. Just don’t expect a decision any time soon, though.
With the NHL season now just a month away, it’s time to look at what each team has done this summer and what to watch for in the year to come. Today, we focus on the Ottawa Senators.
Last Season: 28-43-11 record (67 points), seventh in the Atlantic Division (missed the playoffs)
Remaining Cap Space: $8.7MM per CapFriendly
[Related: Senators Depth Chart From Roster Resource]
Player To Watch: D Thomas Chabot – For the last couple of years, Chabot has been viewed as Ottawa’s top defenseman of the future. He had a very strong junior career and became a regular for the Sens last season where there were some expected ups and downs.
However, with their recent moves (particularly the Karlsson trade earlier this month, the Dion Phaneuf trade last season, and losing Marc Methot in expansion), the 21-year-old isn’t going to have the luxury of being eased into things anymore. In fact, given their depth on the left side which primarily features role players, there’s a very good chance that he’ll be on their top pairing to start the season.
How will he fare going from a role where he was somewhat sheltered to likely facing top competition on a near-nightly basis? If he struggles, things could get ugly quickly with there being no real in-house option to take that role. However, it has the potential to be good for his development in the long haul while also positioning himself for a nice second contract. If he spends the next two years in that role, the Senators will be in tough arguing that he should accept a bridge contract.
Key Storyline: In a nutshell, who’s next? The team has been up front that they are in a rebuild and their trade of Karlsson for a package primarily highlighted by future assets only hammered that fact home. No one expects this to be the final move of that process, however.
Ottawa has a pair of high-end pending unrestricted free agents up front in winger Mark Stone and center Matt Duchene. Although the Sens would like to keep them around, it will be difficult for them to do so with their budgetary restraints while it’s also tough to see both players willingly choose to stay in a rebuilding situation when they can wait a few months and pick their next team.
At some point, one (if not both) of them will be moved and it’s basically a question of when it’s going to happen. It’s unlikely that Ottawa will want to take any sizable contracts back which could make a trade more likely as the season progresses where the acquiring team is taking on less money. With owner Eugene Melnyk admitting that significant roster turnover is on the horizon, as soon as one goes, the question will simply be who’s next?
Overall Outlook: Last year was painful for the Sens. Their move to add Duchene didn’t work and they found themselves near the basement in the Atlantic. 2018-19 projects to be no exception although this time around, Ottawa won’t have their first-round pick at their disposal as it now belongs to Colorado. That’s going to be painful come the draft lottery in April so their hopes of adding to their future core will have to come from the trades of Stone and/or Duchene at some point during the year.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
As if being an Ottawa Senators fan wasn’t hard enough right now, a report surfaced this morning that suggested Mark Stone wanted out of the city when his contract expired at the end of this season. Stone settled with the Senators this offseason on just a one-year deal that will pay him $7.35MM this season and qualifies for unrestricted free agency on July 1, 2019. The 26-year old forward was asked about the report after practice today, and denied it vehemently.
I love it here. This has been a great month for me, I’ve enjoyed my previous four years here and I want to continue to be here.
As a player you’re looking to win every time you step on the ice. No matter who you’re playing with, no matter who’s in the lineup you have to look at it the same way. Obviously [the Senators front office] has said they’re rebuilding, but I think for the guys in this locker room we’re looking to win hockey games and looking to win as many as we can.
Stone could potentially be one of the very best forwards available on the open market next summer if he decides not to re-sign with the Senators, and can’t actually put pen to paper on a contract extension until January 1st, 2019. Even if he is enjoying things right now, it’s a dangerous situation for the Senators to be in given their expected struggles this season. Still, Stone has never said anything to make Ottawa believe that he wouldn’t be willing to stay and was even in discussions on a long-term deal this offseason at one point.
- Not only do the Florida Panthers have a new captain in Aleksander Barkov, but today they announced their entire leadership group. Keith Yandle, Aaron Ekblad, Vincent Trocheck and Jonathan Huberdeau will all wear an “A” as alternate captains at various times this season, solidifying that group of five as the core of the team going forward. Among them, only Yandle is older than 25 while Barkov and Ekblad are still just 22 and 23 respectively, giving the Panthers a chance to keep most of the group together for a long time. In fact, all five are signed through at least the 2021-22 season and should help Florida return to the playoffs at some point in the next few years.
- Michael Russo of The Athletic (subscription required) is reporting that Gustav Olofsson has suffered another shoulder injury, and there is fear that it is serious. Olofsson underwent an MRI yesterday, but there has been no update from the team as of yet. The 23-year old defenseman played 41 games for the Wild last season and could have perhaps battled for a full-time spot had he not suffered the injury. Selected in the second round five years ago, Olofsson has been limited by injury throughout his professional career and will hope for good news this time around.