The Ottawa War Towers
Ok, let’s be clear, the future may look bright, but it’s also too far out to predict. But, here’s doing so none the less.
With the potential emergence of Erik Gryba and fellow prairie boy, Jared Cowen, Ottawa may have the makings of one hell of a blueline pairing.
Cowen, 19, 6′-5″, 220, and still growing, is the prototypical defensive dman. Big, rangy, good mobility and speed, and with a willingness to use his frame to his advantage. In junior he’s proven to be a stand-out, both on and off the ice, but barring an unexpected growth in his offensive game, he will be pegged to play a shut down role, much as was done with Phillips. This isn’t to say he cannot merge into a hybrid player, able to provide average or better offense, but that will remain a bonus, not a goal, in his development.
With a right hand shot, Eric Gryba will make the perfect partner to Cowen, he will also bring the offensive angle to the pairing. Gryba, 22, 6’4″, 214, is also an imposing player, with room to develop even more muscle on his solid frame. With an impressive offensive flair, and an improving skating ability, Gryba may prove to have the tools to play the all important “all around” first pairing Dman. He can score, he can defend, and he can physically impose his will upon his checks.
Should it all come together, and both of these players meet or exceed expectations, the Sens will boast a pairing able to demand respect, or even fear, from their opposition.