Senators 2022-23 Training Camp Roster Breakdown & Predictions

It’s time for training camp at the Canadian Tire Centre after the Ottawa Senators named their 59-player roster for the first phase of the preseason. In the aftermath of a positive summer, head coach D.J. Smith’s players will return to the ice in positive spirits and optimistic for what could be a transformative season for the club.

Ottawa Senators Training Camp Roster Breakdown & Predictions Anton Forbserg and Tim Stützle
Anton Forsberg and Tim Stützle (The Hockey Writers)

Ottawa’s training camp roster for the 2022-23 season includes four players on amateur try-outs, three contracted to the American Hockey League’s Belleville Senators, and two on professional try-out (PTO) agreements. Here’s the full list:

Ottawa Senators: 2022-23 Training Camp Roster

Forwards: Drake Batherson, Tyler Boucher, Derick Brassard, Rourke Chartier, Angus Crookshank, Michael Dal Colle, Philippe Daoust, Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Gambrell, Claude Giroux, Ridly Greig, Jayce Hawryluk, Roby Jarventie, Mathieu Joseph, Mark Kastelic, Parker Kelly, Carson Latimer, Viktor Lodin*, Jake Lucchini, Kyle McDonald*, Tyler Motte, Josh Norris, Zack Ostapchuk*, Shane Pinto, Cole Reinhardt, Scott Sabourin, Egor Sokolov, Tim Stützle, Brady Tkachuk, Reid Valade, Dalyn Wakely, Austin Watson, Matthew Wedman.

Defencemen: Jonathan Aspirot, Xavier Bernard, Jacob Bernard-Docker, Erik Brannstrom, Thomas Chabot, Jorian Donovan, Maxence Guenette, Tomas Hamara, Travis Hamonic, Dillon Heatherington, Nick Holden, Jacob Larsson, Zackary Massicotte*, Ben Roger, Chandler Romeo, Kristians Rubins, Jake Sanderson, Lassi Thomson, Nikita Zaitsev, Artem Zub.

Goaltenders: Antoine Bibeau, Logan Flodell, Anton Forsberg, Kevin Mandolese, Cam Talbot, Mads Sogaard.

* denotes injury

Senators’ Offseason Revamp Creates Fascinating Training Camp Dynamic

The Senators have a very new squad. Connor Brown and Nick Paul, both of whom wore an ‘A’ last season, have departed, clearing the way for the arrival of Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat. Matt Murray was dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs for future considerations, while Filip Gustavsson was flipped to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Cam Talbot.

Matt Murray Ottawa Senators
Matt Murray, formerly of the Ottawa Senators (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Senators also have a handful of prospects on the cusp of breaking into the majors. Jake Sanderson has looked like the real deal for some time, while Ridley Greig was one of the main beneficiaries from the midsummer World Junior Championship. With that said, here are three of the most important training camp battles that will be played in the weeks ahead.

Cam Talbot & Anton Forsberg Jostle for Crease Control

It’s been one of the stories of the summer. Ottawa’s goaltending situation is very different from the start of last season, with Murray discarded and Gustavsson sent across the border to Minnesota. Now, the battle for the starter’s job is between Talbot and the incumbent Anton Forsberg.

Talbot kicked up a fuss after the Wild re-signed Marc-Andre Fleury this summer and eventually forced his way to the exit. The 35-year-old had no interest in acting as the junior member of a tandem, an attitude he is likely to carry with him to his new club.

Cam Talbot Minnesota Wild
Cam Talbot, formerly of the Minnesota Wild (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Forsberg, on the other hand, solidified Ottawa’s crease after his peers started last season poorly. As previously reported, he has outperformed Talbot over the last three seasons and enters his age-29 season with a spring in his step.

The Senators’ preseason schedule begins with a back-to-back versus the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sept. 24 and 25, setting the stage for episode one of goalie wars between Talbot and Forsberg.

Tyler Motte’s Arrival Shifts Bottom-Six Landscape

Last week, general manager Pierre Dorion added a final flourish to his impressive offseason, recruiting forward Tyler Motte to a one-year, $1.35 million contract. The 27-year-old joins the Senators after posting 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 58 appearances for the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks last season.

Related: 3 Takeaways After Senators Sign Tyler Motte

“Tyler is a tenacious checker who plays the game with pace,” said general manager Dorion. “He’s a strong penalty killer and another competitive person who adds to the depth of our group.”

Motte won’t be a dominant force in the offensive zone for Ottawa, but he promises penalty-killing knowhow and bottom-six verve at a reasonable cap hit. After his trade to the Rangers last season, he secured a 56.3 percent share of expected goals – meaning the ice titled in New York’s favour when he was on duty.

Tyler Motte New York Rangers
Tyler Motte, New York Rangers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

However, the American’s arrival complicates the picture in Smith’s bottom six, with Alex Formenton, Shane Pinto, Parker Kelly, Mathieu Joseph, Dylan Gambrell, Austin Watson, and Ridly Greig also vying for a spot in the lineup. Also of note: Michael Dal Colle and Derick Brassard are in town on PTOs.

As a result, training camp will provide the backdrop for a protracted battle for position between members of Ottawa’s forward group. Smith will have his hands full.

Jake Sanderson Enters Blue Line Sweepstakes

In defence, the Senators face several unanswered questions – all of which stem from the same place: is Ottawa’s blueline corps up to the job? It remains to be seen.

Sanderson joins the professional ranks under a tonne of pressure. The 20-year-old’s collegiate career was cut short by injuries and the pandemic, hampering his development a touch. Even so, he is Ottawa’s next great hope in defence and is expected to draw into the club’s opening night roster. But on which pair?

The former University of North Dakota alternate captain is in direct competition with fellow leftie Erik Brännström and joins a unit that also includes Thomas Chabot, Artem Zub, Nick Holden, Travis Hamonic, and Nikita Zaitsev. Defensively, the key question is where Sanderson fits into the equation – with the aftereffects from that decision shaping the rest of Smith’s pairs. Thus, it must be an interesting time to be a defenceman on the Senators.

Ottawa Senators: 2022-23 Projected Lineup

Forwards:

Brady TkachukJosh NorrisDrake Batherson
Alex DeBincatTim Stützle Claude Giroux
Tyler MotteShane PintoMathieu Joseph
Alex FormentonDylan GambrellAustin Watson

Defencemen:

Thomas ChabotArtem Zub
Jake SandersonTravis Hamonic
Erik BrännströmNikita Zaitsev

Netminders:

Anton Forsberg
Cam Talbot


Ottawa kicks off the preseason at the Scotiabank Arena versus Toronto on Sept. 24, with seven more exhibition games to play before their season opener at the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 14. Until then, the Senators will be sharpening their skills and raising their fitness levels at the Canadian Tire Centre. Finally, hockey is back.


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