The day after the chaos of draft day, it is time to take a second look at what the Ottawa Senators got accomplished.
While they were unsuccessful in moving up (or unwilling to pay the steep prices that were required) in the draft, the Senators stayed pat with the 17th pick.
With that pick they picked up a player in Curtis Lazar who projects to be a Mike Fisher type player, with more offensive upside. Lazar has some offensive potential, having scored more goals than Steven Stamkos and more points than Sidney Crosby to set both records at the Canada Winter Games in 2011. He was the 2nd overall pick in the WHL draft in 2010. He was a member of Canada’s Gold Medal winning team at the Ivan Hlinka under 18 tournament.
After that pick, the Senators really went off the board. They picked what (at best) would be considered long term projects. They didn’t have another pick until the third round, when they selected big Swedish goalie (I think Bryan Murray has a fetish of sorts) Marcus Hogberg. The fourth round picks, Tobias Lindberg and Ben Harpur were both selected far behind where they were ranked, and the 5th round selection Vincent Dunn is a local kid from Gatineau who might fit right in with the Pesky Sens, as long as his suspension for a racial slur last season is an isolated incident and not indicative of his character.
The Senators wrapped up their draft with a pair of 6th round picks, the unrated Chris LeBlanc, who is at best a long term project who probably won’t be in the mix for a number of years and NCAA centre Quentin Shore.
So, while the Senators didn’t get any immediate help, and went for players who are a little off the beaten path, this group of scouts and management has a great track record of unearthing good prospects at the right time, and they should be given the benefit of the doubt based on that recent history. The likes of Hogberg, Lindberg, Harpur are long-term projects who may or may not make it at the professional level.
But judging by the successes of Jean-Gabriel Pageau (96th), Mark Borowiecki (139th), Erik Condra (211th), Colin Greening (204th), sometimes long-term projects do pan out, even if it sometimes takes 5 or 6 years. That’s what having a good minor league system can do for you.
It is what makes the draft such a fun, sometimes frustrating, gamble. You just never know.