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Hoffman aims to make point with Sens

Goal-scoring prowess makes forward a prospect to watch

Wednesday, 30.06.2010 / 11:58 AM / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Hoffman aims to make point with Sens
High-scoring forward Mike Hoffman is in Ottawa this week for his second Senators development camp, working toward a big season ahead (Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photography/OSHC).
There is no disputing what makes Mike Hoffman a most intriguing prospect.

Hoffman clearly knows it. So, too, do the Ottawa Senators, who made the native of Kitchener, Ont., a fifth-round pick (130th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

"That's my job on the ice, that's what I have to do," Hoffman said when asked about the offensive numbers he produced in his final two seasons of junior hockey. "I'm a points guy and I have to put the puck in the net. If I'm not doing that, I'm not on my game ... That's my type of game and if I'm going to succeed in the future at the professional level, that's what I'm going to do."

The numbers don't lie. In 2008-09, the 5-11, 176-pound left-winger racked up 52 goals and 94 points for a Drummondville Voltigeurs team that would make it all the way to the Memorial Cup semifinal. He added another 19 goals among 40 post-season points.

It was more of the same in his overage season with the Saint John Sea Dogs. Hoffman's final totals included 46 goals and 85 points, with another 21 goals and 32 points in the playoffs, which saw the Sea Dogs roar all the way to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League final before falling to the provincial rival Moncton Wildcats. He also was named the QMJHL's most valuable player.

"Tremendous offensive talent. Tremendous offensive upside," said Pierre Dorion, the Senators' director of player personnel. "He snaps the puck really hard and has the ability to score, and he's got NHL speed. He's just got to compete more on a consistent basis."

Despite his prodigious scoring totals, there has always been a "but" with Hoffman, it seems. He was waived through the Ontario Hockey League at age 17 and resurfaced in the QMJHL with the Gatineau Olympiques in 2007-08. It wasn't until the following season, though, that Hoffman began tearing up the league.

"Late bloomer" is the term often used to describe such talents, and Hoffman surely fits that bill. And this week's Senators development camp gives him an opportunity to keep that growth going as he prepares for the jump into professional hockey.

"That's my job on the ice, that's what I have to do. I'm a points guy and I have to put the puck in the net. If I'm not doing that, I'm not on my game ... That's my type of game and if I'm going to succeed in the future at the professional level, that's what I'm going to do." - Mike Hoffman
"I've got to get bigger and stronger, put on some weight and battle more," admitted Hoffman, who is more than willing to start his pro career in the American Hockey League with the Binghamton Senators. "If I'm not ready to make that jump (up to the National Hockey League), I don't want to make that jump and just be sitting on the bench or not playing."

Hoffman is enthused about his second development camp, saying "I'm a little bit more calm" about it all this time.

"I'm glad to be back," he said. "You know what's going to happen (the second time), you know the hang of things. I just want to make that jump to pro hockey next year at the highest level possible. If the NHL is an option, I'd like to get in there, but if I have to go to the AHL for a little bit, then that should be okay, too."

The Senators seem to think so, believing a little seasoning on the farm will do some good. But they'll approach evaluating Hoffman with very open eyes when he arrives at training camp in September.

"He was a dominant player in the Quebec league," said Dorion. "I think he's got to become a dominant player in the American league. From then on, I think he'll have a chance to play with us.

"Binghamton is likely, but you never know. Guys like that can sometimes surprise you. He's a good talent."


SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
3 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
4 BOS 61 30 22 9 161 160 69
5 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
6 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
7 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
8 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
B. Ryan 55 15 30 8 45
E. Karlsson 59 14 31 2 45
K. Turris 59 15 26 -5 41
M. Stone 57 14 23 9 37
M. Hoffman 56 21 15 22 36
M. Zibanejad 57 15 17 1 32
C. MacArthur 53 13 13 -10 26
M. Michalek 54 11 14 -2 25
D. Legwand 57 8 14 -2 22
A. Chiasson 53 9 12 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 13 11 7 .927 2.37
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02