Will rookies shine for Sens?

I’ve never seen David Rundblad play before and, although he’s reportedly a great talent, I can’t really get behind this Calder Trophy buzz that’s been following him around a bit over the summer.

Over at Sports Illustrated, Stu Hackel takes a look at 10 potential impact rookies in the NHL this season. Writes Hackel of Senators prospects David Rundblad and Jared Cowen:

It’s harder to break into the NHL as a defenseman than it is as a forward, but the Sens may have both of these guys on their blueline this season. And if they’re added to the corps with third year d-man Erik Karlsson, it will mean lots of youth back there. Hockey’s Future called Rundblad ”possibly the best hockey player currently not playing in North America” last spring…Cowen may lack Rundblad’s offensive dimension, but he’s an all-around talent with size (6-5, 228) who had a great spring: After scoring 14 points in 17 playoff games for WHL Spokane, he stepped into the AHL Binghamton Senators’ lineup and helped them win the Calder Cup. See the full list here.

Bryan Murray is going to have to do some shuffling for both these kids to find space on the line, however.

Let’s say for discussion purposes that the top-two pairs are Karlsson-Gonchar and Kuba-Phillips. That leaves Rundblad and Cowen, both on two-way deals, to compete with one-wayers Matt Carkner and Brian Lee.

Nice to have depth on defence, but their time with the big club will probably be limited barring a) a deal to make space or b) a major injury or two early in the season.

A more likely scenario has them bouncing up and down for the the first half of the season as needed, rather than making a big splash right away. It would seem that Cowen has the better shot to stick, thanks to his size and North American experience.

I’ve never seen David Rundblad play before and, although he’s reportedly a great talent, I can’t really get behind this Calder Trophy buzz that’s been following him around a bit over the summer. With Karlsson and Gonchar (and, to a lesser extent, Kuba) serving as the main puck-movers in the capital, where exactly does Rundblad fit in a big enough way to generate that kind of talk?

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