Adam Larsson: Should Ottawa Trade Up For Him At The Draft?

Is he worth trading up for?

In a recent report on NHL.com, star Swedish defenceman, Adam Larsson stated that he is undecided if he will play next year in the NHL and may stay an extra year in Sweden. With this news, will the number two ranked prospect in this year’s draft be hindered by his preference to stay in Sweden an extra year and fall a few spots in the upcoming draft?

Here is the link to the story.

Larsson is the undecided top defenceman in this year’s draft and is the complete package. Coming in at 6’3″ and 200lbs, the right shooting D-man has even drawn comparisons to NHL superstar Niklas Lidstrom. Playing this year for Skelleftea in the Swedish Elite League, Larsson had a great campaign. Even though his point totals don’t blow you away, his growth this year made him the top pairing defencemen on the team and counted on in all situations. 

Having played with Sens prospect David Rundblad for Skelleftea this past year, Ottawa is very familiar with Larsson and the potential he has. They also have insider information on the character of Larsson as Skelleftea’s head coach is former Ottawa Senators scout, Anders Forsberg. He has been a major factor in the decision-making that went into the drafting of many of Ottawa’s Swedish prospects over the last few years.

Now with the news that Larsson may stay an extra year in Sweden, will this effect his draft position? And with the upcoming draft’s order hard to predict, may Larsson be available for your Ottawa Senators to trade up in the draft and nab him?

If Larsson is not snatched up in the first three picks, as it is widely believed that the top three picks held by Edmonton, Colorado and Florida are planning to take the top three forwards available as their needs are greater up front. Adding to the fact that Larsson will probably not play next season in the NHL, this could lead to Larsson being bypassed for prospects that may be able to make an immediate impact next season.

If this is the case and Larsson is available at fourth overall, should the Senators trade up from sixth overall and nab a future blueline cornerstone? Holding the fourth and fifth picks are the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders respectively, and a case can be made for both being willing trading partners.

The Devils had a horrible start to the year where nothing seemed to go right. After a coaching change, the Devils were one of the best teams in the NHL, but they were too far out and their miracle run ended with them being 23rd overall in the league. However, luck was on their side at the lottery draft as they won it and moved up to fourth overall from eighth. For Ottawa to entice New Jersey with a trade, they could help Jersey solve many of their off-season issues. The Devils have major cap problems as well as an aging roster. With a total of 12 picks in this year’s draft, Ottawa could also put together a package of picks to use to trade up with. In New York‘s case, they have a history of trading down in the draft in order to obtain more picks in the draft. Islanders GM Garth Snow is always making moves at the draft table and is not afraid to be bold.

If Ottawa were to draft Larsson, his preference to stay an extra year in Sweden would not sway their choice. In fact, with the blue chip prospects that Ottawa has on the blueline that are expected to make the team next year, there would probably be no room for Larsson anyway. This way, Larsson can stay the extra year in Sweden and develop his game more and be ready to compete for a spot in Ottawa in the 2012-2013 season. With a future blueline stacked with Erik Karlsson , David Rundblad, Jared Cowen and possibly Larsson, Ottawa would be set for years on the backend.

Putting the trade packages aside, should Ottawa trade up if Larsson begins to fall in the draft?

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