No. 3 on our list is Logan Brown, a 2016 first-round pick. A 21-year-old, 6-foot-6 centre, Brown is an intimidating presence on the ice and has been a lightning rod of debate regarding his long-term impact on the organization. However, he remains an important piece for the Ottawa Senators going forward, which is why he is high on our prospect list.
If you missed No. 4 on the Senators Top 10 prospect profile, featuring Josh Norris, you can find it here.
After being traded from the Windsor Spitfires to the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL during the 2017-18 season, Brown went on a deep playoff run where he registered 27 points in 19 games. The following season, Brown made an instant impact as a rookie with the Senators’ AHL affiliate in Belleville. Over the course of 56 games, he tallied 14 goals and 28 assists.
Although Belleville failed to make the playoffs, Brown was a key piece in their push for a playoff spot down the stretch, showing great chemistry alongside forwards Drake Batherson and Nick Paul. This effort drew praise from Senators’ general manager, Pierre Dorion.
“If Logan Brown plays the way he played in the second half and is consistent game in and game out, he’s going to have more than a realistic chance to be on our team.” – Senators GM Pierre DorionFrom: “Senators enter a pivotal stretch going into NHL draft” – Ottawa Sun, 06/15/2019
Brown’s biggest strengths are his hockey sense, his stick-handling and his agile skating and size. In addition to his offensive abilities, he’s also a solid two-way player who can be relied upon to play in his defensive end. During Brown’s draft year, Brad Philips, a scout for Dobberprospects, stated that Brown boasted one of the best combinations of size and skill in his draft class. Philips also stated that he has an impressive combination of vision, stickhandling and elite playmaking ability.
“He is a kid with unlimited potential, good size, a lot of skill and a high hockey IQ. A player like Logan is hard to find.” – Windsor Spitfires GM,From: “Prospect Of Interest: The 411 on Logan Brown” – Sportsnet
Brown’s hockey sense and creativity allows him to make great passes to his linemates, which improves the offensive output of the wingers he plays with. While he tends to fall into the role of a playmaker, he possesses a great shot. His size and reach allow him to protect the puck well on offence. Those two characteristics also act as great tools on defence when he attempts to take the puck away.
Areas for Improvement
Brown may stand at 6-foot-6, but he doesn’t always use his size to his advantage. He shies away from physical play even though his large frame is a great tool in these situations. This sometimes causes him to lose puck battles or be less effective in the defensive zone. While both his offensive and defensive abilities are evident, utilizing his size would bring another dimension to all facets of his game.
“Some love him. They see the size, skill and IQ, and think he’s a no-doubt top-six center. Others think he’s too slow, and doesn’t compete hard enough.” – Corey Pronman on Logan BrownFrom: “Pronman: Most intriguing NHL prospect to watch at camp for every team, 2019-20 edition” – Corey Pronman, The Athletic, 09/04/2019
Brown also needs to use his shot more often. He has a good shot and release, but often looks to set up his teammates first rather than taking a shot himself. However, Brown has been proactive and has stated that he has taken up a new training regiment with the NHL in his sights.
“…in the past I’ve worked as hard as I can, but it just seemed like it wasn’t enough. I just wanted to try a different approach. I want to be in the NHL” – Logan Brown on his new training routine heading into the 2019-20 seasonFrom: ‘Brown hoping for bigger opportunity under new Senators coach D.J. Smith’ – National Post, 08/26/2019
Projection and NHL Comparison
Brown projects out to be a strong, top-six, playmaking centre who plays a 200-foot game. His combination of speed, size, hockey IQ, passing and shooting abilities make him a tough player to play against. A couple of scouts have drawn similarities to San Jose Sharks centre Joe Thornton as a comparable NHL player. Brown himself has even stated that he models his game after Thornton.
“The goal is Joe Thornton. I love Joe Thornton. He’s my favourite player. He’s my idol. That’s what I really want to work to.”From: “Senators pick Spitfires’ Logan Brown 11th overall after deal to move up a spot” – Ottawa Citizen, 06/24/2016
Expected NHL Debut
Brown’s 0.75 points-per-game production in his rookie season with Belleville showed that he’s ready to make the leap to the next level. He is one of the Senators’ top prospects for a reason, and this season could be the one where he proves as much to everyone in the organization.
“The Senators need help, a lot of help, and I think Brown has the most upside of any player in that farm system.” – Corey PronmanCorey Pronman, The Athletic
Considering the Senators are at the onset of a total rebuild, Brown should get lots of opportunity to prove that he’s a mainstay in the NHL.
NHL Ready: 2019-20
Player stats taken from Elite Prospects