3 Senators With The Most To Prove In 2023-24

The Ottawa Senators have made some moves to put them in contention for the playoffs for the first time in a while. They made some positive strides last season, but ultimately fell short. They have a fair bit of young players filling their lineup and some of them with a lot to prove.

Mathieu Joseph

Mathieu Joseph was acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second half of the 2021-22 season and immediately popped off for the Senators, scoring four goals and 12 points in 11 games to close out the season. After he raised the expectations, he failed to match them last season, partly due to the lack of consistent/skilled linemates. He sunk back to the production level he was at in every other NHL season, but with better linemates and a contract to live up to, he needs to put up better numbers and show improvement.

Erik Brannstrom

Erik Brannstrom has yet to live up to the expectations he had when acquired by the Senators as the biggest piece in the Mark Stone trade. While he is only 23 years old and was arguably rushed into the NHL, messing with his development a bit, he is at the point in his career where he is an everyday player for the Senators and has been paid $2 million for this coming season to go out and prove he's worth a longer term investment. He was never an elite point-producer, but he did put up some great numbers in the AHL. A bit more of that needs to transfer over to the NHL, but he will be in a bottom pairing role.

Dominik Kubalik

The Senators had no other choice than to trade Alex DeBrincat if they wanted any assets back, and Dominik Kubalik was the key player the team got back to slot into the hole on the second line. He has been an underrated scorer since coming into the NHL and scored 20 goals last season. He will be playing with some good players and in the final year of a cheap deal. He will have to prove he is worth a higher cap hit and will have the opportunity to do so.

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