There’s no arguing Ottawa Senators’ Nick Paul is the team’s most versatile forward. Paul can fill a position on any line and play in any situation. If Paul is indeed the most versatile, Alex Formenton is quickly becoming a close second.
One of the speediest skaters in the NHL, the 22-year old has the ability to patrol the left side on lines one through four, while filling a role on the club’s penalty kill.
Place-holding for the unsigned Brady Tkachuk – skating on a line with Josh Norris and Drake Batherson Friday, Formenton notched a pair of goals and added an assist in the Senators 7-2 thrashing of the Canadiens. Displaying confidence, the youngster fit in seamlessly – not skipping a beat, playing with his former American League Belleville Senators’ teammates.
“(It was) a lot of fun, it was a great opportunity for me. Playing on a line with them in Belleville, I got to play with them a little bit there too – just trying to build chemistry with them as the game went on,” said Formenton postgame.
The Senators 2017 47th overall selection is yet to find his scoring touch at the NHL level, compiling five goals, two assists in just 30 games of limited action, but is certainly capable of lighting the lamp if given the opportunity. Formenton scored 29 goals in 48 games in junior with the London Knights in 2017-18, a season which also saw him bring home Gold for Canada at the World Junior tournament.
Smooth from Forms 🤩 pic.twitter.com/KjSJpAVcny
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) October 2, 2021
The Barrie, ON resident also finished second in goals (27) and points (53) among AHL rookies in 2019-20. Forementon’s teammate Norris, finished first in both categories to take home AHL top rookie honours.
Another facet of Formenton’s game that’s often overlooked is his ability to forecheck and adapt to a grinding style if required. At six-foot-two, 184 pounds, Formenton isn’t afraid to land a hit or stand his ground in front of the opposition’s net. In 76 career games played with Belleville, Formenton has accumulated 89 penalty minutes, including one game last season where he picked up five minor penalty minutes – which led BSens head coach Troy Mann to state postgame of wanting to review each of Formenton’s minors to see if there was anything he could do have avoided them.
Only three seasons into his professional career, Formenton knows he’s still growing into the player he wants to be.
“I think I had a pretty good summer – getting stronger – working on the little details of a winger – wall work and stuff like that. I feel confident coming into this year. I’m just going to try and continue to play well.”
Senators head coach D.J. Smith realizes he has to be prepared for any scenario until Tkachuk hopefully re-signs with the club.
“The situation we’re in, we’re looking to fill at this point. “Formie” did a real nice job. Obviously his speed backs people off,” added Smith Friday.
When asked if he preferred to remain on the Senators no.1 line, Formenton echoed the thoughts of all Sens’ fans, “No, we’d love to have him (Tkachuk) here.”