24-Year-Old Center – Ottawa Senators
Jim O'Brien Contract Information:
Signed a two-year contract with the Senators in July of 2012.
O'Brien cleared waivers Friday and could head back to AHL Binghamton, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
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Jim O'Brien: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
O'Brien's hard work the last couple of years saw him awarded with a two-year, one-way contract this past offseason. While his first few years after being picked in the first round of the 2007 draft were a tough learning experience, (he was critized for not working hard enough in the offseason to improve his game and conditioning) he's come on in a big way the last two years. He appeared in 28 regular season games last year, recording three goals and three assists, and was in the lineup for all seven of Ottawa's first round playoff games against the Rangers. He has good speed and some offensive upside, but will really need to work hard in training camp to maintain a bottom-6 forward role due to Ottawa's number of up-and-coming young forwards. O'Brien's also very good defensively and can play a regular shift on the penalty kill. O'Brien could hit around five-to-eigh goals with upwards of 15 assists this year if all goes well.
The former 1st round pick will spend most, if not all, of the 2010-11 season playing in Binghamton. He's a decent two-way forward and will be one of the Baby Sens' best penalty killers. At best, O'Brien projects to be a 4th line checking forward who'll also kill penalties.
O'Brien will be entering his first full season as a pro and will likely spend most of the season with the B-Sens. He's a good two-way forward, but will need to establish himself and take his game up another level or two to have a shot with the big club. He has little fantasy value at this stage in his career.
The big 19-year-old center is at least a couple years away from making the big club, but the anticipation from Senators management is palpable. O'Brien had a strong season playing for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL and showed marked improvement over the course of the season. He finished the year with 55 points in 70 games. He's strong on his skates and is very hard to get off the puck due to his size and willingness to battle. O'Brien will continue to develop in the WHL this season and should be in Binghamton next year.
O'Brien will start the season in juniors and will require a few years before he's ready for the NHL. He is a very young player with a lot of upside.