Ottawa Senators Draft Preview: Two First Round Picks


It’s official. Robin Lehner has finally been traded, as he and David Legwand were sent packing this morning to Buffalo in exchange for the 21st overall pick:

I think it sort of caught me (and others) off-guard, because I’m surprised that Ottawa was able to get such a high pick while also including a salary dump in Legwand. The thoughts from people online seem to be quite positive, and I have to say I like getting another first rounder. I never wanted to see Lehner go, but as far as a return goes it’s quite good.

We have to remember that goalies never get much back in a trade, as even one of the best goalies in the league, Cory Schneider, only netted the 9th overall pick. Plus, it wasn’t exactly encouraging when Bryan Murray had this to say:

And perhaps he didn’t get what he wanted, but I didn’t even think obtaining a first without dumping Legwand was possible, so I was happily surprised. I don’t think Murray really wanted to give up on Lehner, but he knew someone had to go. He’s another goalie traded to a division rival, and the Senators will face him on the season opener. I still think he can become a very good goaltender, but selfishly as an Ottawa fan I hope he doesn’t. It’s hard enough watching Ben Bishop almost win a Stanley Cup.

Whether I thought trading Lehner was right or wrong, we can’t debate it anymore because the move has already happened. Now things have shifted focus onto the draft, which could still be a busy night for Ottawa.

They now own the 18th and 21st overall picks in the first round, along with the 42nd and 48th in the second round which is fantastic. However, don’t expect them to stand pat and use all four of those picks.

That’s quite interesting from McKenzie, as the Senators have been linked to Arizona’s 3rd overall pick recently. I’m not sure if they have enough to get a deal done but if they attempt a deal, it will surely include both first rounders plus Mike Hoffman plus another piece. Personally I wouldn’t do that, but I know that Murray will at least try.

If they target a different higher pick, I’m not exactly sure which spot it will be. Not many teams want to move their picks and I understand why. I don’t think the Senators will be able to get a top-10 pick, but they may trade up a bit to get a pick just after 10.

Once again, I think that wouldn’t be smart because of how deep this draft is. There isn’t going to be much difference between say 11th and 18th, and keeping two mid-round picks is smart.

On the other hand, maybe they are attempting something even bigger…

Ryan O’Reilly is bound to be traded within the next day or week because of his high salary demands, and Ottawa has been linked to him as well.

Now, take this with a grain of salt obviously, as I’m not sure how much Murray is actually involved in these talks. But I would be shocked if he hadn’t at least called the Colorado Avalanche to see about O’Reilly. This trade would involve players also, but Ottawa would still be moving one of their first round picks.

Like Simpson said, the Avalanche might have interest in Jared Cowen since they are looking for a defenseman in a trade. But it would take more than that. The Senators would most likely have to throw in Mike Hoffman, one of their first round picks, and perhaps another smaller piece to get it done. The Avalanche aren’t a very well run organization, so maybe it’s even easier to acquire him.

Maybe the price is steeper than that, and if so, I don’t know if I would bite. But expect Ottawa to try hard to get O’Reilly, as he could be the “top-six” player they’ve been looking for. And in all reality, he’s a first line centre no question. He would be quite the pick-up, but it would be costly.

At the end of tonight, I can’t imagine the Senators using the 18th and 21st picks to select someone. I still believe there’s another deal to be made, whether that includes a player or a higher pick.

there’s a good chance that by the end of the night they will only have one or zero drafted players in the first round

However, getting another first round pick was massive. They now have four picks in the top 48 of a very deep draft, and if they decide to keep those picks they will have added tons of depth to their prospect pool. It would be nice to see them have a lot of high picks for once and not trade them.

As for who they could select, it’s a pretty similar list to the one I outlined a few days ago. I would be happy with a number of players, and they should get at least one player everybody is happy with in the first round. Imagine if they drafted Travis Konecny and Oliver Kylington? I think Senators Twitter would explode with joy.

With their first two picks I’d love to see them take a forward and a defenseman. Amongst forwards they could take Konecny, Colin White, Evgeny Svechnikov, Jansen Harkins, Eriksson Ek, Nick Merkley or Jake DeBrusk, and amongst defensemen they could take Kylington, Jeremy Roy, Thomas Chabot, Jakub Zboril, or Gabriel Carlsson. There’s plenty of solid options even later in the first round.

I can’t wait to see who they pick, but at the same time there’s a good chance that by the end of the night they will only have one or zero drafted players in the first round. I would expect there to be lots of talks and rumours surrounding Ottawa, as Murray wants to make some moves.

It should be an exciting night. Hope you’re all buckled up.

Next: Last Minute Mock Draft: Top 20

More from SenShot