The Ottawa Senators have accrued a number of high picks ahead of the 2020 NHL Draft and have a real chance of building a strong future for the organisation.
It has been a few years of disappointment for the Ottawa Senators organisation, with a rapid decline following a run to the Eastern Conference Final in 2017.
Things, however, are finally beginning to move in a positive direction and the franchise’s decision to undergo wholesale changes and rebuild, with an eye on the future, is already beginning to bring back hope to the fanbase.
Part of that hope comes partly due to general manager Pierre Dorion’s determination to stock up on draft picks in 2020 and 2021, with this year’s class viewed as one of the deepest and strongest in recent memory.
This year’s draft will see the Senators make a whopping 13 picks, having a number of chances to add some truly promising young talent to an already deep prospect pool.
What makes this particular class even more important for the Ottawa franchise’s rebuild, is the fact that they have eight picks in the first 64, with seven of those coming in the first two rounds.
Three picks in the first round and four in the second will give Dorion plenty of opportunities to select players that could realistically become long-term pieces to the puzzle, particularly due their low position in the standings prior to the league-wide pause.
With some reported methods of determining the drafting position in 2020, the Senators could realistically land the second and third-overall picks in the draft, with their first two picks almost guaranteed to be within the top four regardless.
Being able to select such highly valued talent is something that can truly push the franchise’s rebuild forward and should make Dorion wary of making any trades when it comes to draft day.
There could be plenty of discussion around the Senators’ picks, with the team also expecting to select around 21st-overall in the first round thanks to acquiring the New York Islanders’ pick, with some in the media wondering whether or not the Senators might be willing to compile a package to trade up in the draft and select another higher-value player as a result.
This may certainly be tempted for Dorion, with the top-end talent in this year’s draft looking to be almost guaranteed successes at the NHL level, but with how deep the draft is this year it may be smarter to retain all picks in the first three rounds.
If the Senators decide to select players with their first eight picks, they will add a wealth of talent to the prospect pool overnight and will increase their chances of landing NHL talent with more picks.
Successful professional teams rely on a core of players to lead the way, rather than one or two superstars, so adding even more prospects to work with and develop over the next two-to-three seasons may be the sensible approach to building a contender.
The team is guaranteed to land top talent early in the first round, so they should be satisfied with that return before focusing their efforts on landing some diamonds in the rough with the picks that come later on in the early rounds.
Rebuilding is a marathon and not a sprint, meaning that the Ottawa Senators can’t afford to gamble the amount of choices they can make on the hopes that moving up in the draft will add just one more talented player.
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Addition by subtraction may be the approach that some teams prefer when drafting, but the Ottawa Senators needs to stock up as much as possible to increase their chances of landing key contributors in the future.