HomeNHLOttawa Senators Have 5 Good Draft Targets at 10th Overall
Ottawa Senators Have 5 Good Draft Targets at 10th Overall
June 5, 2021
After weeks of hypothesis at who make steal the first-overall choice, the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery was considerably anticlimactic. The Buffalo Sabres, who had the very best odds to win the lottery after a dismal season, retained the first-overall choose, whereas the Seattle Kraken jumped up only one spot from third to second, pushing the Anaheim Geese down to 3rd general. All the pieces else stayed established order, that means the Ottawa Senators retain the Tenth choice and, barring any trades, will choose at that spot for the primary time within the franchise’s historical past.
Tenth generally could be a unusual place to choose. In a weaker draft, resembling with the 2021 class, choosing exterior the top-10 will be wildly unpredictable. That will probably be very true this 12 months after a season fraught with delays, quarantines, and shortened schedules that prevented some prime prospects from totally exhibiting off their ability to NHL scouts. Traditionally talking, the Tenth spot just isn’t as promising as one may count on; over the previous 30 years, just one participant has emerged as an All-Star, that being 2015’s Mikko Rantanen. Michael Frolik, Radek Dvorak, Nikolai Antropov, and Jonas Brodin additionally had been chosen Tenth general, however so had been a lot of first-round busts, together with Slater Koekkoek, Magnus Paajarvi, Dylan McIlrath, and Boris Valabik.
Associated: 2021 NHL Entry Draft: Prime Ten Mock Situations 1.0
It is going to be very fascinating, then, to see who is offered when the Senators step as much as the stage to make their choice. Due to all kinds of predictions, nobody appears fairly certain who will probably be round on the Tenth spot, and past the top-6, the ability degree is pretty even, so Ottawa might decide to fill a necessity of their prospect pool. Whereas their farm system is kind of nicely stocked, the precise wing and goalie positions may use some high-end expertise, though any high-end ahead must be thought-about honest sport. The one place that appears unlikely is on protection, because the Senators have chosen a defenseman within the first spherical previously three drafts, and there aren’t any defenders projected to be accessible on the Tenth spot.
So, with out additional ado, listed here are 5 good gamers that could possibly be accessible at Tenth general that the Senators ought to contemplate drafting.
Past Drake Batherson, the Senators don’t have plenty of high-end choices on proper wing. Probably the most promising is Egor Sokolov, who had a robust rookie season within the American Hockey League (AHL), scoring 15 objectives and 25 factors in 35 video games, however he presently doesn’t venture to be far more than a possible third-line participant within the NHL. Jonathan Davidsson is one other right-winger who has proven some promise in Europe, however hasn’t had plenty of success in North America but.
So, if Fabian Lysell is offered on the Tenth spot, the Senators ought to soar on the chance. He’s among the finest skaters of all the 2021 draft class, making him a really harmful participant on offense. When he has the puck, there’s little he can’t do, enjoying a heads-up, high-offense sport that frequently creates nice scoring possibilities. Though primarily a playmaker, his shot is nothing to smell at, demonstrated by his three objectives in seven video games on the 2021 U18 World Championships, which tied for second on Staff Sweden.
The Senators’ future appears to be constructed on two issues — grit and pace. Gamers like Brady Tkachuk and Ridly Grieg make up the previous class, whereas Tim Stutzle and Alex Formenton match extra into the latter. Including one other quick, troublesome participant to play towards would match into Ottawa’s plans completely. There have been criticisms concerning his considerably diminutive 5-foot-10 stature, however the Senators have confirmed previously to not be too affected by a participant’s measurement, and Lysell’s pace and ability ought to mitigate any concern in that space. There even have been some issues over his perspective, as he requested a commerce this season with a purpose to play within the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). Nevertheless, that must be taken as a robust self-advocate, as he proved to be greater than able to dealing with among the finest leagues on the earth at simply 18 years previous.
Earlier within the 12 months, it didn’t appear very seemingly Lysell could possibly be accessible on the Tenth spot, however the gifted Swede has been dropping within the main scouting publications these days. The Central Scouting Service ranked him ninth amongst European skaters, and TSN’s Craig Button didn’t place him in his top-15 mock draft. Nevertheless, with how variable rankings have been this season, the Senators ought to undoubtedly seize Lysell if he’s round, as he’s seemingly among the finest matches to their present workforce on the prime half of the draft.
Just a few weeks in the past, Senators’ proprietor Eugene Melnyk made headlines along with his candid feedback on his workforce’s short-term plans on the Bob McCown podcast. There have been a lot of takes from the proprietor, however one factor that the media latched onto was his opinion that Ottawa wants a prime veteran middle this offseason. Not like the precise wing, the Senators have a plethora of high-skill middle prospects, like Josh Norris, Logan Brown, and Shane Pinto, and including one other may crowd issues sooner or later. Nevertheless, they don’t have an abundance of pure objective scorers, that means Chaz Lucius must be one other goal for the Senators.
There’s seemingly no higher objective scorer amongst draft-eligible Individuals than Lucius. In 12 video games with america Nationwide Staff Improvement Program, he scored an unbelievable 13 occasions and ranked fourth in workforce objectives regardless of enjoying lower than half of the video games of these forward of him. He was equally dominant with the U18 Nationwide Staff, scoring 13 objectives in 13 video games. Had he not missed the primary a part of the season with a lower-body damage, he may have led each groups in objectives in addition to factors.
There’s a robust chance that Lucius will probably be accessible on the Tenth spot, as he’s been ranked in that vary or a bit decrease for a lot of the 2020-21 season. It’s additionally the participant Ian Mendes, the Senators’ columnist over at The Athletic, predicts the workforce will choose. His excessive hockey IQ and blistering shot make plenty of sense for Ottawa, and given their present depth, the Senators can afford to attend for Lucius to develop on the College of Minnesota over the following few seasons, the place he’ll hopefully refine his skating, pace, and his defensive consciousness.
The Senators have turn into an extremely annoying workforce to play towards. Led by Brady Tkachuk, the workforce has cast an identification as gritty and pesky, which has resulted in them stealing various wins this season. In addition they have variety of agitators developing via the pipeline, most notably of their 2020 first-round collection of Greig. If Ottawa needs to proceed including troublesome gamers to play towards, then they need to severely contemplate Mason McTavish if he’s nonetheless round on the Tenth spot.
McTavish has rocketed up the draft rankings these days due to a really robust U18 event, the place he captained the Canadians to a gold-medal end and sat third in scoring with 5 objectives and 11 factors. However he additionally acquired a lift from deciding to spend this season enjoying in knowledgeable league in Switzerland whereas the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) was on hiatus, which improved his defensive consciousness and cleaned up his skating. Impulsively, individuals are calling him Ryan O’Reilly 2.0, and whereas which may be a little bit of an overstatement, the playstyles are undoubtedly comparable.
Nevertheless. it appears to be like like he is probably not accessible on the Tenth spot due to a meteoric rise in his rankings. Dobber Prospect’s scout Cam Robinson dropped a teaser of his upcoming checklist, which revealed McTavish was all the best way as much as second. That follows the Central Scouting Service, which ranked him second amongst North American skaters. That’s a large shift from even just some months in the past when some thought-about him a late first-round choose at finest. If he’s nonetheless accessible on the Tenth spot, then he’d be one other nice choice for the Senators. Higher but, he apparently is pals with Colin White and Thomas Chabot, which actually builds to the tradition this workforce is creating.
If the Senators need to proceed so as to add grit and feistiness, however McTavish just isn’t an choice, they might attain for Matthew Coronato, who checks plenty of packing containers for the group. One other smaller participant at 5-foot-10, he’s a really aggressive, in-your-face participant who isn’t afraid to enter corners and battle for a puck. Some have gone as far to check him to Brad Marchand in his model of play, which can make Senators’ followers giddy with the opportunity of having Tkachuk paired with a Marchand-type participant.
However Coronato is way over simply an abrasive participant. He has a terrific shot, which he used liberally all through the season, wracking up a league-leading 48 objectives — 16 greater than the second-place finisher. His passing is equally nearly as good and he added 37 assists to offer him a complete of 85 factors, which positioned him second in america Hockey League (USHL) scoring race. To prime all of it off, he possesses a robust two-way factor to his sport due to his never-quit perspective. The left-winger fairly actually may do every little thing requested of him this season, making him a really engaging choice for a first-round choose.
For the Senators, Coronato provides high-end objective scoring, top-six potential, aggressiveness, and a robust two-way sport — all issues they’ve beforehand regarded for of their first-round picks. His skating wants some work, however that seemingly will enhance over his time at Harvard College. Some additionally might take a look at his draft rating, which has often positioned him close to the top of the primary spherical or as an early second-round choose, as a cause to not choose him, however the Senators have by no means been afraid to succeed in for a choose they need, and can have already got a robust roster crammed with younger expertise — they might wait on Coronato to develop.
Goaltending was an early drawback for Ottawa this season after Matt Murray faltered and backup Marcus Hogberg proved unprepared for a beginning position. Since then, Joey Daccord, Filip Gustavsson, and even Mads Sogaard have emerged as potential starters of the longer term, however ought to the Senators look to offer themselves a extra sure-fire choice? In that case, Jesper Wallstedt is a transparent alternative, and plenty of scouts see him going inside the top-15. He’s dominated in Sweden for a number of seasons already and could possibly be the very best goalie prospect since Yaroslav Askarov, and will even be higher than the Russian phenom.
There’s a lot for the Senators to love in Wallstedt. He’s drawn comparisons to Carey Worth as a result of his calm presence within the web and unbelievable technical abilities. At simply 18 years previous, he took over the beginning place for an SHL workforce, a feat that’s virtually remarkable in Sweden. He’s assured regardless of his younger age, and though he’ll seemingly keep in his residence nation subsequent season, he’s seemingly not distant from making his NHL debut, very like Carter Hart did at simply 20 years previous. Sure, this draft class is relatively weaker to people who got here earlier than and can come after, however Wallstedt screams franchise goalie, which the Senators haven’t had since Patrick Lalime.
There’s a probability that Wallstedt may go sooner than Tenth, regardless of the precedent for groups to cross on goalies within the top-10, and if that’s the case this 12 months, the Senators could also be tempted by 6-foot-6 Sebastien Cossa, who has additionally earned some consideration as a top-15 choose after some unbelievable Western Hockey League (WHL) numbers this season. Nevertheless, he’s extra typically ranked as a later first-round choose, and taking him so early can be an pointless threat, particularly with the forwards who will seemingly nonetheless be round. In addition they have already got the 6-foot-7 Sogaard performing nicely within the AHL, and Cossa seemingly doesn’t supply an excessive amount of greater than what the Senators have already got.
A Draft Stuffed with Thriller
The NHL Draft is all the time stuffed with surprises; the Columbus Blue Jackets blew everybody away after they took Yegor Chinakov within the first spherical final 12 months. However 2021 will probably be stuffed with much more surprises due to the pandemic-shortened seasons, quarantines, and lack of worldwide tournaments. Everybody has a special opinion on who ought to go first, who their workforce ought to take, and who will fall within the first spherical, and there’ll undoubtedly be a number of picks that nobody noticed coming. However regardless of the thriller, the Senators may have a number of good choices to pick on the Tenth-overall choose, and even when they go off the board on a riskier choose, they’ve the items in place to emerge as a prime workforce sooner or later.
An elementary instructor by day and an avid hockey fan, Dayton joined The Hockey Writers in 2019 and presently covers the Ottawa Senators, World Juniors, and NHL Entry Draft.