According to an Ottawa Senators press release, the team has signed 19-year old forward Mark Stone to an entry-level contract. Renaud Lavoie (@renhockey) is reporting that it's a 3-year, two-way deal that totals $1.65M with a $270k signing bonus.
Last season Stone tore it up with the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings finishing third in league scoring with 37 goals, 69 assists and 106 points. This strong play earn him an invite to the Canadian national junior team development camp where he continued to shine - registering 4 goals and 4 assists in two intrasquad games.
When Stone finally scored the game winning goal in the rookie tournament's final game, his legacy was cemented as a prospect to keep an eye on. Just ask AJ Jakubec.
The Team 1200's radio host (@AJonSports) had some pretty enthusiastic tweets...
Mark Stone signs entry level deal with the. 3rd leading scorer in WHL last year as an 18 year old with 106 pts.
Stone had a great World Jr Development Camp with Team Canada and has a good shot to make the team in December.
Also played well in the Rookie Tourney, scoring the OT winner vs the Leafs. Playing with Michalek and Zibanejad tonight. A steal in the 6th.
A steal in the 6th?
Easy on the verbal fellatio AJ. Stone hasn't even played in the NHL, let alone demonstrate that he can even be a productive NHL player. Right now, he's just another Mike Hoffman-like player.
For the 2009-10 season, he was only: the QJMHL MVP; the QJMHL 'Sportsman of the Year'; and a finalist for the CHL 'Player of the Year. Today he's the lynchpin that played alongside Zenon Konopka and Francis Lessard on Ottawa's fourth line during last night's exhibition game against the Leafs.
Not that I'm trying to quell any enthusiasm towards Stone or Hoffman. Both could wind up being decent players down the road or they might not. My point is that each season, some prospect does something to warrant attention and with each successive season, there's always some shiny new prospect to distract us.
Conversely, there's a similar phenomenon going on at the other end of the spectrum with Patrick Wiercioch. You simply can't get too high or too low on these prospects.
In an article for the Ottawa Citizen, Allen Panzeri had this nails quote from Assistant GM Tim Murray that explains some of this mindset.
“What that does, though, is that you’re expecting a lot early, so, when you see a bad shift, you get mad. You just have to realize it’s early and it’s a long process to get to October, but they’re going to play tons of minutes in exhibition games.”Not every prospect's development curve is as linear as fans may want. As we've seen in the past with players like Brian Lee or Jakub Klepis, you can't just look at the organization's prospects and assume that everyone will make it or pan out to best of their abilities. Prognosticators and pundits seem to like the depth and talent that they see in Ottawa's system, but some of these players may not work out. In a system that once was bereft of (m)any, the system hopefully has the depth to overcome such an obstacle. No longer will it be hamstrung as it has been in the past when Ilya Zubov, Alexander Nikulin or Brandon Bochenski don't live up to standards.
Lots to like about this post but to me the last sentence is the key. The Sens have excellent depth in the tank and should be able to absorb the inevitable flame-out for a number of prospects. To me, it looks like the Senators are playing are doing everything right with their farm system, from a systemic/organizational standpoint. They're stocking their scouting department, which should theoretically translate into more accurate predictive/projective scouting (especially in terms of players drafted in later rounds and they're accumulating incredible depth in the system. Given these factors, the law of averages should work in Ottawa's favour and the organization should (all other things being equal, of course) be able to churn out an above-average number of top prospects.
@fmblair Hording of prospects is great when it comes time to turn some quantity into higher quality too.
@Nichols6thSens Certainly true. A strong organization can't rely on the draft alone. At some point, it will be necessary to exchange some prospects for solid NHL players to put the team over the hump. The Senators need to be shrewd buyers and sellers in order to facilitate this rebuild. That said, having a farm system that is perpetually graduating strong NHL players is perhaps the most indispensable characteristic to a well run organization.
@MelnyksHangovers@fmblair@Nichols6thSens The name Zibanejad is Canadian as much as it is Swedish. The only reason this is even a debate is that fact that you KNOW where a player is from. If a player's nationality was kept secret, no one would be able to name all the Canadians based solely on their play.
I was at the Leafs vs. Sens Rookie game and the Blue team has very little in the cupboard. They are tough though. McKegg scored the tying goal in the final minute of play so maybe he is has some clutch intangibles. I'm confident that we have a lot of NHL potential in the system. Most of the guys are 3rd liners but the prophet and the big Cow are the future of the franchise.
We need to try to not be like Leafs fans/media and assume every prospect is going to be a good NHL player.
For example, on last night's broadcast Leafs TV twice referred to Greg McKegg as a "blue chip prospect".
@MelnyksHangovers Greg McKegg is a blue chip name.