Ottawa Senators: A Difficult Decision To Come With Draft Picks

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The Ottawa Senators are a team that will not by play for the Stanley Cup this coming spring. However, they are a team with a huge decision on their hands.

When we look back at the beginning of this season it seemed unfathomable that the Ottawa Senators would find themselves in the position they’re currently in. They were sitting pretty in second place in the Atlantic through the first month of the season and had just pulled off a trade for star center Matt Duchene. However, it’s that trade that now requires the Sens to make a difficult decision, one that may not have a right answer.

One of the biggest pieces of the trade was that the Ottawa Senators sent a first round pick to the Colorado Avalanche. However, the pick had a condition on it, it was lottery protected, meaning that the Sens could choose whether they would send their pick in 2018 or 2019 to the Avalanche. As it stands right now the Sens are fifth last in the league and it would make sense for the Sens to hold onto their pick this year and send their 2019 pick to Colorado. However, it may not be that simple.

Winning Is Losing

Until their loss to Columbus, the Sens had won three straight and they have now won five of their last 10. While this isn’t fantastic, it’s very good compared to the other teams at the bottom of the league. The result of this is the Sens slowly moving up the standings. If the Sens continue to do this they have to consider giving up their pick this year and holding onto their 2019 pick.

The Sens aren’t in a position where they have a chance to make the playoffs. This means they will have a chance to win one of the three lottery spots in the draft. However, with each spot they climb their chance of winning goes down. If the Sens win one of those picks then they should keep their pick this year. However, if their pick falls to the 8-10 spot or further they may want to consider giving it up this year. That is if management wants to send the team into a rebuild.

A Big Decision Is Coming

If the Sens are serious about a rebuild and are still planning on trading away Erik Karlsson it means the team is going to be bad next year, likely worse than this year. If that’s the case the Sens will want to hold onto their pick for the 2019 season. The only reason to keep it would be if the Sens have a top five selection.

Next: Ottawa Senators: Why Erik Karlsson Needs To Be Traded

The Matt Duchene trade at the time was a move to help the Sens win now. However, with the team in shambles, management will have to make a difficult decision. Do they keep their pick this season and attempt to pick up the pieces for next season? Or do they trade give away their pick this year and fully commit to the rebuild starting this summer? The Sens made a bet that they were a championship contender with the Duchene trade, now they will have to fold or double down.