Over the past 20 days, Thomas Chabot saw seven minutes of ice time, and with no spot opening up, the Senators decided the best move would be to send the 19-year-old blueliner back to junior.
As far as the Ottawa Senators’ roster went, there weren’t many surprises to be had when the pre-season ended. The usual suspects made the club and the only player who made the team somewhat unexpected out of training camp was Thomas Chabot.
However, Chabot finds himself on the road back to the Saint John Sea Dogs on Wednesday as the Senators announced he’s been sent back to junior after his brief stay with the big club. It’s for the best, too.
During the pre-season, Chabot showed some obvious strengths, his skating and scoring ability among them. In six games, he posted a goal and two points, and he took middle pairing minutes for the Senators. But come the regular season, Chabot was nowhere to be found when game time rolled around, unless you had someone scouring the press box.
All told, Chabot saw the ice once in his nine-game stay with the Senators, and even then he skated a grand total of 7:09. That’s barely seventh defenseman minutes for a rearguard, but once Chabot had fallen out of favor in the Senators’ lineup, it was near impossible for him to get back in. Thus, the only move Ottawa could really justify making was to send the youngster back to the QMJHL.
Chabot’s usage was disappointing for Senators fans who wanted to see what the youngster could do in the lineup, no doubt. Ottawa doesn’t have near the prospect pool of other franchises, but one of the bright spots was Chabot, who was the second-best prospect in the Senators’ system and ranked 38th overall according to a panel of scouts in THN’s Future Watch 2016.
Sending Chabot back gives him the chance to continue his development and, more importantly, it gives him the chance to actually play. While an ideal situation may have seen Chabot wind up in the AHL and man the blueline for the Binghamton Senators, that’s not a possibility.
Giving him a shot at being a top defender in the QMJHL again and the opportunity to skate at the World Junior Championship for Team Canada can only serve to help him from here on out, and when Senators’ camp rolls around next season, it won’t be nearly as surprising when Chabot winds up with the club.
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