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The Senators do not have as deep of a prospect pool as they did in past years. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still quality players who can contribute at the next level. Over the off-season, I will be looking at some of these players’ past seasons, and I will be giving my thoughts on their overall development/outlook. To begin, I will be discussing Angus Crookshank of the Belleville Senators.
Angus Crookshanks’ Belleville Senators Statistics
Crookshank just finished his first full season with the Belleville Sens. Angus was able to put up some impressive numbers as a 23-year-old in the AHL. He finished the season with 26 goals and 21 assists for 47 points in 71 games. He finished 4th in AHL rookie goal scoring and tied for 9th in points by a rookie. Crookshank also led the Belleville Senators in goals and finished 4th on the team in points.
Angus Crookshank plays the game as hard as anybody else out there. His game is not built around immense skill to maneuver himself in the offensive zone. He is a guy who knows how to do one thing extremely well, which is go to the net and finish pucks in close. Angus makes his money by grinding away at rebounds or scrambles out front.
If I had to compare his game to another player in the AHL, I would use Brendan Gallagher. Both players play bigger games than their size would usually allow for, and both are/were effective at doing so. Prime Gallagher may have had a slightly bigger offensive arsenal, although he as well made his money in front of the net.
What Will Be The Next Step For Crookshank
There is no questioning Crookshanks’ motor and ability to clean up the front of the net. The next step in his development will be to add more offence that doesn’t come from the crease. Crookshank himself has talked about trying to work on his shot from a longer range so that he can beat goaltenders from farther out. If he can improve on his shot, he will be that much more dangerous on the ice.
Where Will Crookshank Play This Season
This is a very difficult question to answer. While Crookshank certainly deserves a shot at playing NHL games, he will have to beat out a lot of other names for that position. Going into camp, Crookshank should be one name who has a legitimate chance to earn an NHL roster spot. He will have to earn this spot over guys like Sokolov, Kelly, Smejkal, etc which will be no small feat.
I would love to see Crookshank in Ottawa next year. I believe he would fit perfectly in a fourth-line role with his tenacious play style. Although if I was a betting man, I would expect him to start again in Belleville until the first couple of injuries arise. However, one way or another I would be shocked if Crookshank played no NHL games this season, assuming he is healthy. Whether he starts with Ottawa or not, I would expect him to get a handful of games in the NHL this season.
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