Until this current rebuild, the Ottawa Senators generally relied on veteran stars to lead the team offensively.
Year-end point leaders were at or near their peak as players – guys named Mark Stone, Erik Karlsson and Kyle Turris, dating back to 2012-13.
With the departures of goal scorers like Stone, Mike Hoffman, Matt Duchene and Anthony Duclair in recent years, general manager Pierre Dorion probably imagined that veteran Evgenii Dadonov, signed as a free agent out of Florida in the off-season, would be the one to replace the 23 goals (in 66 games) lost with the departure of Duclair from last season.
Dadonov has actually played well and been productive with seven goals in 25 games, which projects to 23 goals in a regular 82-game season.
And yet, how stunning and refreshing to see the young names atop the Senators’ list of top scorers.
Drake Batherson, 22, and Brady Tkachuk, 21, lead Ottawa in goals with nine each in 25 games. Not since a young Alexei Yashin, 23, Daniel Alfredsson, 24, and Alexandre Daigle, 22, were one-two-three in scoring in 1996-97 have the Senators had such an array of youthful talent leading the way.