Now that the Draft Lottery is over, what will we see Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion do with the tenth overall pick?
First of all, congratulations to the Buffalo Sabres organization for winning the Draft Lottery. The Seattle Kraken was the only team to move up, landing the second overall pick and pushing the Anaheim Ducks to third.
As a result, staying in their original spot, are the Ottawa Senators with the tenth overall pick.
What are the options for the Ottawa Senators?
This has been a hot topic amongst Senators fans, as it’s a lower pick than many imagined before the Trade Deadline. There are lots of options for us.
Move up, move down, trade the draft pick in a package for an impact-now player, or use the pick. These are all options that you could make a case for, so let’s break down what each scenario could look like.
Moving up in the draft
The 2021 NHL Entry Draft is pretty wide-open. There seems to be some talk on Owen Power at first overall, but that isn’t a consensus. If “their guy” is available, it might be worth it. Should they move up, which I think is unlikely, it will be a trade while the pick is on-the-clock.
Moving down in the draft
This is a more likely option, as the Ottawa Senators prospect pool is still very deep. It will be a best player available type of draft for this team.
If they believe that there is still a good group of talent available, GM Pierre Dorion may just take an offer to move back a few picks and allocate another later round pick, which could turn out to be very valuable in a year where many haven’t even played this season.
If the Ottawa Senators make the pick
As mentioned above, this is a very wide-open draft, and there could be a lot of talented options at ten. Without listing every prospect in the Top-20, here are a few players who I could see available at ten, as well as a pick Ottawa would make.
With Mason McTavish, it seems like a perfect pick for the Ottawa Senators if he is available. With the OHL not having a season, over in Switzerland, McTavish played 13 games in the Swiss League and tallied nine goals, 11 points while switching around from center to the wing. He also put up five goals, 11 points in seven games at the 2021 U-18 World Junior Championship.
McTavish is a very offensive player. His wrist shot is nothing short of lethal, and his one-timer is just as good, which is something the Senators need on their powerplay.
His skating is fantastic, although with his short strides, he may never be look at as a speedster, but regardless, is still very agile and has great edgework. He plays a gritty game on top of this talent, which Ottawa has been attracted to in the past few drafts.
I think Mason McTavish would be a great fit, and should be Ottawa’s target if they decide to keep their pick and draft at tenth overall.
Fabian Lysell played in the SHL (Swedish Hockey League) against men, as a 17 year old. He looked great in doing so. Lysell put up one goal, three points in a bottom-six role on Luleå HF, but showed that he has much more to offer.
In this limited role, Lysell didn’t put up a ton of points, but showed his fantastic skating, which could be ranked at the top of the draft class, as well as his fantastic hands.
When Lysell had played in a league with other teenagers, he put up much better numbers. His ability to look ahead up the ice and skate past anybody, and use his magical stickwork, he is on the right path to becoming an offensive force.
When playing in a U-18 league, Lysell put up 18 goals, 40 points in 18 games, as well as 19 points in 22 U-20 games, each over the past two years.
This would be another smart pick for the Ottawa Senators, as Lysell has that high-end offence ability that many are looking for in this draft, and his skating is a very attractive asset as well.
Honourable Mentions: Aatu Räty, Chaz Lucius
Luke Hughes is the only defenseman Craig Button has drafted in his mock draft between 5th and 15th Overall. We will see Luke be the third Hughes brother to be drafted into the NHL, and is projected to also be the third to go Top-10.
He is an offensive-minded left-handed defenseman who has put up great numbers. Putting up 15 point in 18 USHL games, and 34 points in 38 USDP games this season.
Hughes has the offensive upside of the likes of Morgan Reilly, and similar to Reilly, struggles defensively. While Hughes has shown some improvement in his own zone, his offensive abilities make selecting him an easy decision for many teams. Between his vision, skating, and puck moving skills, Luke Hughes will be a great defenseman in the NHL.
Although many say ‘you can’t have too many prospects’, our left side is very jam-packed. With Chabot leading the way, we have Brannstrom and Sanderson who both project to be very good Top-Four defenders and already having some competition in the organization. I do not think drafting a LHD is the right move, even if they are the best player available.
Drafting a goalie with the tenth overall pick is not something people have been talking about. Drafting a goalie this high isn’t something we see very often, but recently, Yaroslav Askarov was drafted by the Nashville Predators, and Spencer Knight was drafted to the Florida Panthers. Wallstedt put up a 2.23 GAA and a .908 SV% in 22 games for Luleå HF of the SHL.
Ottawa Senators fans have been either all in, or 100% no-go for drafting Wallstedt. He is a very sound goaltender who I am sure will have a great NHL career.
With a pipeline as stuffed as Ottawa in the net, you could argue that it will just push out a goalie who could turn out to be just as good, or, the argument of, you only have one starting goaltender. Why not take the chance on the best you can get?
I really don’t know where I stand with this. But none-the-less, somebody is getting a fantastic goaltender in Jesper Wallstedt.
Trading the pick
Many people have been talking about the likes of trading the Ottawa Senators pick in a package for an upgrade on the current roster. I don’t think this is a terrible idea at all, as we are very close to being over the edge.
54GP: 16G-27A-43pts (2021)
Contract: 1x$8.275m Remaining
Claude Giroux is an interesting name that has been floated around Sens Twitter lately. The veteran center would be able to come in and bolster up the Top-Six. The Ontario-Born Flyer has 1 year left on his deal, and the Philadelphia Flyers are following a disappointing season. I think it could make sense for both teams to work out a deal involving Giroux and the tenth overall selection.
54GP: 25G-15A-40pts (2021)
Sam Reinhart would be the one for me. Coming off of a 25 goal campaign, or 38 goals in 82 games. Hard don’t imagine that the Buffalo Sabres are too interested in moving him. Though, in a season-ending conference, he expressed his frustration. He stated he needs to think about the future (RFA Status).
If Buffalo can get another Top-10 pick after winning the lottery, I think they listen to any offer. Buffalo has decisions to make, and if the Senators can offer a package for Reinhart without overpaying, it may very well be worth it.
HM: Nazem Kadri
51GP: 6G-15A-21pts (2021)
Contract: 2x$6m Remaining
With the upcoming Seattle Kraken expansion draft, Minnesota has a lot of decisions to make as well. With Jared Spurgeon, Ryan Suter, and Jonas Brodin all having NMC, they will lose someone good. Whether it be a good forward, Dumba, or trade for protection, we will see.
If the Senators tenth overall pick can make something happen here, that is a sound RHD to play with either Chabot or Brannstrom. I think this makes a lot of sense, as it is one of the bigger needs for this team.
In the end, if the Ottawa Senators keep the pick, or trade it for a player, things will work out. I am confident there’s enough talent in this draft for Pierre Dorion to acknowledge the value of his draft picks. He will make a smart decision when it comes to what is best for the team moving forward.