The Ottawa Senators have loaned Lassi Thomson back to his Finnish club for the start of the 2020-21 season to get the young defenseman playing in meaningful games. Thomson, the 19th overall pick from 2019, signed his entry-level contract last year but spent the season playing in Finland with Ilves. Even suiting up at that level as a teenager is impressive, but Thomson recorded 13 points in 39 games while also logging big minutes for the World Junior club. Senators GM Pierre Dorion explains why he’ll be back in Finland to start the season:
Playing league games is beneficial to any young player’s development. To Lassi’s credit, he expressed a desire to do so and it’s something that we very much support. Starting the year with the same Finnish team for which he (Thomson) played last season provides him with his best preparation opportunity ahead of our next training camp.
The important note is ahead of training camp, when Thomson will likely be back on North American ice to show the Senators up close what he can do. As with any rebuilding team, there will be opportunity galore for young players with the kind of upside Thomson possesses, but with plenty of other names on the depth chart he’ll have to really show he’s ready before they burn a year of his entry-level contract by putting him in NHL games.
- After playing a half-season for the Hamilton Bulldogs of the OHL, Jan Mysak will be returning to the Czech Republic for the time being. The 2020 draft prospect scored 25 points in 22 games for Hamilton after coming over midseason and could potentially be picked in the first round come October. NHL Central Scouting ranked him the 28th best skater in North America, but he’ll be back overseas to prepare for his professional career.
- The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have signed Felix Robert and Luke Stevens to AHL contracts for 2020-21, bringing in a pair of prospects that have aged-out of their respective amateur programs. Robert was a linemate of Penguins prospect Samuel Poulin this season with the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the QMJHL and led the team in scoring with 92 points in just 46 games. The 21-year old went undrafted but used his experience to dominate the competition this season even standing just 5’8″. Stevens meanwhile was a fifth-round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2015 but failed to sign a contract with them and became an unrestricted free agent last weekend. Through his four years at Yale, he recorded 35 points in 101 games.