It has been talked about for a long time, many journalists even wrote that it is a matter of time. We are talking about the arrival of highly sought-after Arizona running back Jakob Chychrun in Ottawa. However, the ideas of the desert unit were overshot, so the young fullback Erik Brännström, who was signed yesterday, is fighting for a more prominent place.
He definitely hoped that at the current stage of his career, i.e. at the age of twenty-three, he would already be a stable member of one of the defenses of the NHL teams. The potential was huge, remember 2019 and the trade of Mark Stone to Vegas. At that time, Ottawa stood up for its position, and wanted Brännström very much.
Since then, however, things have not been going well. Altogether only 116 matches, in which two goals and twenty-eight assists. Not much for a player whose offense has always excelled.
He received a tryout contract from Ottawa. One year, nine hundred thousand. Show up as if the Senators leadership is on a message.
“Erik belongs to our group of young players who we expect to take the next step next season,” said Pierre Dorion, the team’s general manager, after the signing. “He’s competitive, plays well with the puck and showed last season that if we give him a bigger role, he can handle it. We hope that this experience will pay off for him in the coming year.”
At first glance, it looks like he is fighting for a place in the third pair. The clear number one is Thomas Chabot, and Travis Hamonic and Artjom Zub will definitely want a big workload as well. The coaches also expect a lot from the very talented Jake Sanderson.
But then? For example, the Senators wanted to get rid of the veteran Zaitsev in exchange for Chychrun. And Nick Holden is thirty-five, so it’s clear that Brännström would get the upper hand.
“Brännström can play with Holden or maybe Zaitsev. It’s an advantage that he can play on both sides,” reflected coach Smith.
It is no exaggeration to say that Brännström is in for a key year. He won’t have many chances to convince anymore. What is certain is that he has the potential to play calmly in the first pair. It will be up to him to take the chance. There are obviously windows in the set, now just open them and don’t let anyone else in.
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