The Ottawa Senators are not always known for their superior scouting, but every once in awhile they pull one out of their magic bag. The last two drafts have been the best the Senators have had in some time. Forward Filip Chlapik has been a player they have picked out of the weeds. Even on their current NHL roster right now, the Sens have a few players they have plucked away at drafts.
Filip Chlapik and his road to the NHL
Heading into the 2015 NHL draft, it was all about taking a big step forward for the Senators. After missing the playoffs, the Senators were looking for answers to help solve their puzzling questions. When the second round came to life in the draft, the Senators picked one of the best players available in the draft class.
The 6’1″ Czech forward in Filip Chlapik. Chlapik was coming off his first season with the Charlottetown Islanders of the QMJHL. After spending the prior year in the Czech U18 and U20 league, Chlapik was selected 11th overall by Charlottetown in the CHL Import Draft. The forward would go on to have a first season to never forget in the QMJHL. In 64 games played, Filip Chlapik scored 33 goals and 42 assists, tallying 75 points.
In his first season after being selected in the draft, Chlapik would go on to score 54 points in 52 games. Once again, a strong season for the youngster. In his final year last season, Chlapik showed that he was officially ready to move on from juniors. Chlapik scored 34 goals and 57 assists for a grand total of 91 points. Two dominant seasons after getting drafted, Chlapik was brought over onto North American ice for the 2017-18 season.
Why Filip Chlapik is a good bet to make the Ottawa Senators next year
There is little to no doubt the Ottawa Senators are bound to make big changes this upcoming offseason. The club hasn’t gone in the same direction whatsoever after losing in the Eastern Conference final in game seven. General manager Pierre Dorion hasn’t been shy to express his concerns and assure that changes will be coming. If the Senators make roster changes either at the trade deadline or the offseason, next season will look much different for the club.
Changes have taken place with the Senators roster even right now. Management has shifted their focus to giving the young guys a chance to play and showcase their skills. Not only does this give the youngsters a chance to get experience, management can evaluate what they have going forward. One of the many young guys who have gotten a chance to play with the Sens has been Filip Chlapik. Chlapik has only played 10 games but has shown a lot of promise in those games.
He is a player who consists of strong poise with the puck. In the 10 games Chlapik has played, he has been seen as a bottom-six role player for the most part. The best explanation for this is head coach Guy Boucher not wanting to throw the youngster to the wolves. Chlapik has scored two assists in the ten game he spent with the Senators so far. He averaged a total of 8:28 of time on ice. The forward sat at a 46.2% Corsi for, not a great number per say but justifiable when looking at his time on ice. With big changes coming this offseason, Chlapik could be one of the young faces to come up next season. In the AHL, he ranks fourth in team scoring with 19 points in 36 games played.
Where Filip Chlapik would fit in the Ottawa Senators lineup
When you look at the Senators bottom six players you could see why management wants to improve that area of their roster, after offering ridiculous contracts last offseason to free agents. With changes incoming, where does is Filip Chlapik left in all of this? with players heading out the door, the Senators will look to bring new faces in. The best scenario for someone like Filip Chlapik would be if the Senators acquired picks and prospects in return for veteran players in this year’s trade deadline. This way Chlapik could be called up once again to the club, and maybe he sticks around for awhile. With new faces not coming into the equation, it leaves more room for the rookies and prospects to have a strong chance of grabbing a spot next season and right now.
Hypothetically speaking, if Chlapik does make the team next season he’ll have tough competition to go up against. Chlapik’s main competitor would be center Logan Brown of the Kitchener Rangers, who is on fire since being traded from the Windsor Spitfires. Filip Chlapik will have to have another strong training camp like he did this year. If all goes well, Chlapik will have a spot for him in the bottom six roles. Although with his skill set, he could get promoted to a top-six forward if the coaching staff likes what they see. Chlapik spends his minutes down on the third line with hopefully better linemates than right now.
Chlapik knows his goal going into next season
Filip Chlapik knows he has a good shot at making noise next year within the organization’s depth chart. If the team explores the going young route, Chlapik and many other youngsters could see themselves with the Ottawa Senators next year. He will have to shine in training camp and be significantly better than his competitors. In the possibility that he does not crack the NHL roster, it is hard seeing him in the minors for too long.
If the Senators want to shift their focus onto skilled young forwards like how the NHL is shaping up to be, they will have to roll up their sleeves sooner rather than later.