Looking Ahead- Nikita Filatov (And the Search Winner)

SensChirp August 19, 2011 0

This will almost certainly be the most difficult "Looking Ahead" to write.

Based on his first couple years in the NHL, it's tough to know what Filatov will bring to the line up next season but it's safe to say that he will be a key part of any success the team has in the 2011/2012 season.

On Day Two of the NHL Entry Draft, Bryan Murray and the Ottawa Senators decided to take a chance on Russian sniper Nikita Filatov.  Most GMs around the league agree this was a steal by the Sens.  Worst case scenario, it doesn't work out and the team is out a draft pick.

Best case scenario they have added a legitimate top six forward that immediately becomes one of the most talented players in the system.

At age 21, it is obviously far too early to call this guy a bust.  While things never worked out for him in Columbus, he's going to be given every chance to succeed in Ottawa.  He is a shoe-in to make the team out of camp and is expected to find a spot somewhere in the top six and on the team's power play.

Projecting the season Filatov is going to have largely depends on whether or not he can develop chemistry with Jason Spezza.  A LW with a right handed shot, I fully expect MacLean to pair the two together early on in camp to see if there's a connection.  If those two can click early on, Filatov could have a more productive season than people are expecting.

Success with the man-advantage will be key and with the Sens power play expected to improve under MacLean, Filatov should benefit. 

I don't want to call this a "last chance" for Filatov but because the Sens were the only team that showed interest on Draft Day, you have to think this is a huge season for the talented prospect.  By all accounts, FIlatov is a motivated player that wants to prove people wrong and the coaching staff in Ottawa is going to give him every chance to do so. 

I'm gonna take some heat for this one but here it goes…

2011/2012 PREDICTION- 78 GP  25 G  26 A  51 PTS

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The polls are now closed in the Search for the next SensChirp Contributor.  Based on your feedback, and my own assessment, I can now name the writer of "Is Daniel Alfredsson a Hall of Famer" as the winner!

I want to thank everyone that took the time to submit an article and in particular the other two finalists.  Both did a great job with their articles and if they are interested, will also be asked to contribute from time to time.

Thanks to the readers for your feedback and participation throughout the competition.