It’s been just over a month since Ottawa Senators prospect Logan Brown was sent back to the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL. After a brief taste of life at the NHL level, the Sens decided it would be best for the young centreman’s development if he got the chance to dominate games in junior, instead of dwelling on the fourth line in Ottawa.
Since his return to Windsor, Brown has done pretty much what the Senators organization was hoping he would do. Brown is averaging nearly a goal a game so far this season, tallying 11 goals and nine assists on the Spitfires’ top line. While the defending Memorial Cup champs are not as strong as they were last year, Brown and his linemate, Aaron Luchuk, have been excellent together.
Brown’s time with the Spitfires could be coming to an end, though. Because of Windsor’s middling record so far this season, it’s possible that the team will sell some of their assets for draft picks. However, the team has until January to make that decision, and the 19-year-old has a major hockey event circled on his calendar before then.
World Juniors Bound?
For Brown, the silver lining in being sent back to junior after a few games in the NHL was the chance to play in the World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo later this month. Brown is a dual citizen, son of Ottawa native and former 67’s coach Jeff Brown. However, Logan was born in Raleigh and grew up in St. Louis, making him loyal to Team USA.
The Americans are looking to repeat as World Junior champions on home ice, and will have a deep talent pool to pick from when assembling their team. While Brown didn’t make the team last winter, he has a very good chance of making the cut this time around. During the World Junior Summer Showcase, Brown reunited with Casey Mittelstadt and Kailer Yamamoto, his wingers from the 2016 World Under-18 Championship. The trio showed a ton of chemistry, combining for nine points in an 8-2 drubbing of Canada Red.
At 6’6” and 215lbs, Brown is a difficult player to match up against. While he is not an extremely physical forward, he uses his frame to effectively protect the puck and lets his slick hands do the rest. If he can click with Mittelstadt and Yamamoto during selection camp, Brown is a slam dunk to make the United States World Junior team.
Patience Is Key
The Senators have been careful not to rush their prospects into the lineup over the last few seasons. While Brown was with the Senators in October, he and Alex Formenton did not get a ton of ice time, staying on the team’s bottom two lines. While Formenton only suited up for one game, Brown was given a bit more of a chance, playing four games before being sent back to Windsor. Brown registered one assist in these four games and gradually became more comfortable at the NHL level.
It’s difficult to say whether or not Brown will make the Sens next year, as fellow centreman Colin White will also be pushing for a spot with the Senators. However, Brown’s offensive potential makes him a particularly intriguing prospect. While most of Brown’s ice time with the Senators this season was with Alex Burrows in a checking role, his skillset is more suited for a top-six role down the road.
In order to make the jump to the NHL next year, Brown is going to have to improve his play in the defensive zone. While he’s had a great season with the Spitfires so far, Brown has been criticized for showing a lack of effort on the backcheck. This is a pretty common criticism of young, offensively gifted players, but as a centreman, Brown is going to be expected to contribute at both ends of the ice for the Senators. However, Brown has a lot of games left this season to prove that he will be worthy of some time in the big league next fall.
A Carleton University journalism graduate, Jacob joined The Hockey Writers in 2017. As an Ottawa native, Jacob has been following the Senators since the days of Radek Bonk. You can also find Jacob at ComicBookMovie.com.