With the biggest names off the board, the Ottawa Senators used their first round pick, #17 overall on Edmonton Oil Kings forward Curtis Lazar.
Lazar is a solid hockey player, with a bit of an edge who is a competitor. He can play any forward position and is versatile in terms of offensive and defensive awareness. Bob MacKenzie said he projects to be a solid 3rd liner as opposed to a top 6 player.
From McKeen’s hockey here is a scouting report on Lazar:
SCOUTING REPORT .. a responsible and diligent two-way forward .. makes valuable contributions with or without the puck – exploiting sharp hockey sense and good awareness .. powerful, balanced skater when in flight, however, could benefit from additional explosiveness .. hands are more quick and strong rather than finely skilled .. packs a hard shot whose release is both fast and fluid .. dangerous when trailing the rush with speed and firing a one-timer full bore from the slot .. steadily maturing and progressing as a playmaker .. now assesses options before joining the fray and will re-direct pucks to teammates instead of taking low-percentage shots .. should improve his finesse skills and puckhandling in traffic .. can move the puck however as he possesses adept one-touch skills and an ability to execute at a feverish tempo .. can get through defenses with his tenacity – getting key touches on the puck and overwhelming defenders with his speed and persistence .. displays a defensive conscience and positional maturity that belies his age .. neither big nor overtly mean, yet fiercely competitive with deceiving toughness .. continuously engaged both mentally and physically .. comes back deep in strong support positions – and will deliver stiff hits throughout his own zone .. functions most effectively in more of a secondary role – and not front-and-center in the attack.
While not one of the better known prospects, he is more of a sure thing than some other potential wild-cards like Anthony Mantha. Many people, myself included might have thought that Kerby Rychel would have been the pick, and I am sure many people are a little disappointed that they didn’t go with a flashier option, but you have to give the Senators the benefit of the doubt.