The Senators Biggest Draft Mistake


How does the saying go?  Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.  That saying was never truer than the biggest draft mistake in Senators history.  And no, it was not Alexandre Daigle.

In June 1998, the Senators used their first round pick (15th overall) on a goaltender named Mathieu Chouinard, from the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL.  He came in with good stats, and was supposed to be the best goalie from a weak crop of netminders that draft year.  However after two years, he was not able to come to a contract agreement with the Senators and subsequently re-entered the draft.

Not learning their lesson the first time around, Ottawa thought it was wise to use their 2nd round pick (45th overall) to select a goalie from the Quebec League’s Shawinigan Cataractes, named Mathieu Chouinard.  Yes, THE SAME PLAYER.  Why GM Marshall Johnston thought he could do what he did and think Chouinard would play well for the franchise is beyond me.  Chouinard eventually did sign with the club, but bounced around the minors for a few years.  He played a grand total of 3 NHL minutes, for the Los Angeles Kings, stopping the only 2 shots he faced.

Chouinard is one of 37 players who have re-entered the draft after not getting signed by the team that first drafted them.  Of those 37, 3 were re-picked by the same team (Tim Brent, Anaheim and Trevor Hendrikx, Columbus are the others).

Wasting a 2nd round pick on a player who obviously didn’t want to play here could very well be the worst decision the Senators made at the draft. It also ruined the career of a potentially solid NHL goaltender.

(As I was looking for info to complete this post, I came across a good Q&A that fellow Senators blogsite The 6th Sens recently had with Chouinard regarding the draft incidents.  You can read that interview HERE.

SenShot will have more draft tidbits from the past, and the future over the next couple of weeks leading up to the draft, which will set a new course for the future of the team.


Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcomed.

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