The Best Part Of The Jason Spezza Deal Yet To Come For Senators


Jason Spezza was traded to the Dallas Stars 10 and a half months ago on July 1st for Alex Chiasson, Nick Paul, Alex Guptill, and a 2015 second round pick. While three of those fours pieces may be a bit underwhelming, there is one part that might just work out.

Nick Paul may end up being a fine NHLer, although he still has some work to do. He seems to be a tad overrated because of his recent success, but it’s hard to properly evaluate him because he’s a 20-year-old. So no, I’m not talking about Paul, I’m talking about the 2nd round pick from this years draft.

The trade was almost a year ago, but the best part of it is yet to come. The 2015 draft class is supposed to be one of the best in a while, and there’s certainly lots of depth. It won’t reach 2003 levels, but I’m not sure any draft will ever top that. However, there should still be some quality players leaking into the second round, making Ottawa’s two selections in that round crucial.

The Senators will be selecting at number 42 and 48, so there’s a very good chance they can pick up a quality player with at least one of those picks. Here’s the mock draft for that area of the draft:

The second round players may be a bit less known for the casual fan, but Ottawa could get a good player, especially at #42. Julius Nattinen played most of his year in the Finnish league below SM Liiga, but he got 29 points in 39 games. At 6’2″ and 191 lbs, he is already quite big but will get even bigger. For people who want a big centre, perhaps he is the man.

At #48, Jeremy Bracco looks like a solid pick. He’s one of the smallest players in the draft at 5’9″, but he was fantastic at every level he played in this year. In the USHL he put up 32 points in 24 games, and at he junior U-18 level, he got an amazing 94 points in 65 games. He was also 2nd in scoring in the U-18 World Championships with 13 points in 7 games, which was only two less than Auston Matthews.

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Those two players are forwards, but there may be some defensemen available, and I hope one of these picks is a defenseman. Although they are ranked higher in the mock draft, players like Noah Juulsen, Jakub Zboril, Vince Dunn (not that Vincent Dunn), and Ryan Pilon may fall to them. Also, there’s Rasmus Andersson who is ranked lower, but put up almost a point a game in the OHL.

If they are looking for a forward (and I’m sure they are), there may be some even better picks. They can hope that someone like Anthony Beauvillier, Daniel Sprong, Brock Boeser, or Colin White falls to them. Besides them, there should still be at least a couple solid picks at #42.

The thing about getting the 42nd pick is that is gives Ottawa some leeway. With two picks within seven spots of each other, they can now take one player with lots of upside but a bit of risk, and also a safer pick a la Curtis Lazar from two years ago. In a scenario like this, I wouldn’t mind Ottawa taking any of the defenseman previously mentioned at 42, then someone like Bracco at 48. Bracco looks like he has some real potential, and we’ve seen what small players are capable in the NHL today, with players like Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, and Mats Zuccarello.

There’s a good chance they will end up with at least one quality player

In the first round, Ottawa should take the best player available. They need a defenseman, but early on you should go for skill. But then with two second rounders, they can take at least one risk. They traditionally haven’t gone for higher risk players, but maybe they will try something different this year.

After all, they hardly ever have their second round pick, and they haven’t had two since 2009. So this may be uncharted territory for them, but there’s a good chance they will end up with at least one quality player with their three picks in the top 48.

Right now the Spezza trade doesn’t look too good for the Senators, but the best piece hasn’t even panned out yet for Ottawa, which could completely change how the trade is perceived. Let’s hope that they take advantage of the depth of this years draft and strengthen their depleted prospect pool.

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