Ideal Selection: Quinton Byfield (C)
Ottawa has been yearning for a franchise centreman ever since Jason Spezza was let go by the franchise and Quinton Byfield is the ideal choice to be the team’s future number one centre.
Towering over his opponents at 6’4″, Byfield possesses rare traits than most large forwards, he has great speed, a ton of skill and if he reaches his full potential I believe he can be the best player to come out of the draft.
Byfield was one of the better primary point producers out of all draft-eligibles, producing 1.51 primary points/game, just behind top prospects Alexis Lafreniere and Marco Rossi, who both played on superior teams. While Sudbury was carried by Byfield, who led the team in points with 82 in 45 games, he was the driving force behind the team, hence his primary point totals.
Byfield still has a way to go to in his development but that’s what makes him such an intriguing prospect, teams would love to get their hands on a player of his talent. The Senators can let Byfield develop one more season in the OHL if they deem him not NHL ready, another season in junior at his age will do wonders for his development and starring at the World Juniors will be in the cards too. Then the following season the Senators can let Byfield loose, giving him a shot at the top-line centre job.
While the pick is still up in the air, some sources have given some insight to the Byfield/Stutzle debate:
It appears more likely Los Angeles takes Stutzle at 2, but that’s all hearsay at this point. If the chips fall as Pronman suggests, the Senators would land their future at the centre position.
Other Options: Tim Stutzle (C), Lucas Raymond (RW)
Pierre Dorion and Trent Mann have both doubled down on the Senators intentions at 3,
Seeing as “everyone” knows what they will do at 3, everyone has to be assuming Byfield/Stutzle at 3 since those are the two consensus players 2nd and 3rd overall. Whoever is left over after the Kings pick will be the Senators pick, simple as that.
While Byfield would be ideal at 3, Stutzle is no consolation prize, many scouts have been splitting hairs on the two and while Byfield is usually favoured ahead of Stutzle, the difference is marginal.
Trent Mann was praising Stutzle during his media availability, appearing more of a fan of Stutzle than Byfield, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Senators have fallen in love with the German instead of Byfield.
I had to throw one “hail mary” possibility out there but Lucas Raymond at 3rd overall isn’t completely out of the question. While I would put the likelihood somewhere around >5%, Ottawa has taken an odd stance on Raymond. The talented Swedish winger was recently on TSN 1200 for an interview and cited the Senators as the team he has had the most engagement with.
Pierre Dorion has been a bit hesitant in talking about Raymond in recent media appearances, most likely trying to not tip his hand to help Detroit at 4th overall. Trent Mann had some great things to say about Raymond though, so the interest is without a doubt there. If the Senators view Raymond as their “guy” they won’t risk losing him at 5, well unlikely all options have to be exhausted.