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  • 2015 Draft: Ottawa Senators

    No matter how the playoffs end, the Senators will have the 18th overall selection at the NHL Entry Draft.

    A few months ago, we were debating who the Sens should be pick in the 6-9 range where it looked like they would be drafting. Due to great play by Andrew Hammond, and recent prospect graduates Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, the Sens made the playoffs which downgraded their draft position. Although there's some good talent in the top ten, there's also some good talent in the top 20.

    Top 5 Prospects at Each Position (per hockeysfuture.com)

    LW

    Nick Paul
    Matt Puempel
    Shane Prince
    Alex Guptill
    Max McCormick

    RW
    Tobias Lindberg
    Cole Schneider
    Buddy Robinson
    Chris LeBlanc

    C
    Ryan Dzingel
    Vincent Dunn
    Robbie Baillargeon
    Quentin Shore

    D
    Ben Harpur
    Andreas Englund
    Fredrik Claesson
    Chris Wideman
    Mikael Wikstrand

    G
    Chris Driedger
    Marcus Hogberg
    Matt O'Connor (not listed yet)

    The strengths of Ottawa's prospect pool is clearly the left wing position, and goaltending depth. Although they have alright prospect depth, they lack top-end talent. With the 18th overall pick in the draft, the Senators should definitely target a boom/bust player. With a lot of young talent spread over the lineup and prospect pool, the Sens will have more than enough middle six players and bottom four defenseman.

    Draft Picks

    18th overall (Ottawa Senators)
    42nd overall (Dallas Stars)
    48th overall (Ottawa Senators)
    109th overall (Ottawa Senators)
    139th overall (Ottawa Senators)
    199th overall (Ottawa Senators)

    Who can they target?

    Murray is known to draft the best player available at all times. Despite having a great prospect core of defensemen in 2010, Murray traded his draft pick for young defenseman David Rundblad, who he later flipped for Kyle Turris. It is unlike Ottawa will select a Russian, and very unlikely Ottawa will select a goaltender. Here are some of the players Ottawa could be looking at.

    Nick Meakley (RW) - Kelowna Rockets - 5'10, 187lb

    Meakley lacks size and the amazing skating you see from a lot of smaller guys. He's extremely competitive, has great hockey IQ and great vision. He put up 90 points (20-70) for Kelowna and was a huge reason Rourke Chartier put up one of the top goal totals in the WHL.

    Paul Bittner (LW) - Portland Winterhawks - 6'4, 194lb

    Bittner is a big bodied forward who already has NHL-ready size. He has talent with great skating for his size and a great release. However, he isn't always on his game and doesn't look great out there when he's not. He doesn't drive the net a lot, especially for someone his size. And his 71 points (34-37) could be a little inflated due to his linemates.

    Oliver Kylington (D) - Farjestad - 6'0, 181lb

    The hyped Swede had a year he'd like to forget after being demoted from Farjestad to AIK mid-season. He's a fantastic skater and can really move the puck, but his weaknesses come with physical play and strength.

    Colin White (C) - U.S. National Development Program - 6'0, 183lb

    White had an alright year in the USHL with 17 points (4-13) in 20 games. Playing for Team USA, he didn't get much power play time over Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk. He also got mono and had a wrist injury. He has good speed and plays an NHL-calibre responsible game, but doesn't have a ton of offensive talent there. He'll be an NHL player, but how will he be a standout player?

    Travis Konecky (C) - Ottawa 67's - 5'10, 172lb

    The 67's made a controversial decision in 2013 when they opted to select Konecky over exceptional-status defenseman Sean Day on draft day. It did not take Konecky long to show off his skill in Ottawa, with 70 points (26-44) in his rookie season. However, while the 67's got better, Konecky stayed the same, with 68 points (29-39). Although scouts have concerns about his future as a centre in the NHL, Konecky has a lot of skill, effort and plays a very gritty game. He's gotten the label as a 'dynamic' player, but also was injury prone because of his small frame and playing style.

    Evgeny Svechnikov (RW) - Cape Breton Screaming Eagles - 6'3, 205lb

    I'll start off by saying it's unlikely the Senators will select a Russian. However, with the need for top-end prospects and Tampa Bay's recent success with late-round Russian picks, I'd consider the option from the Senators point of view. He had a great season in the Q with 78 points (32-46) in just 55 games. His stick handling, release and size are selling points for him.

  • #2
    I decided not to focus on the 2nd round picks and who we could get with them because there's so many possibilities once you get passed the first round, especially with two picks. There should be a few of these players available at 18th overall, assuming the Sens do not trade up or down.

    Who would you like to see the Sens pick? Would you go with a high-risk, high-reward player like Svechnikov? Would you take a high-end talent with concerns such as Konecky? Or would you go safe and make sure you get an NHL player such as White?

    Comment


    • #3
      I think I would go with Oliver Kylington from the players mentioned.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Josh View Post
        I think I would go with Oliver Kylington from the players mentioned.
        He could come in handy, especially on the power play. Karlsson is a lock for the first unit, and Wiercioch does alright as a secondary guy on the point. But the Sens definitely need someone to run the second unit. Ceci might be fine as the secondary guy, but he doesn't have the skating, vision or sense to run a second power play unit.

        Comment


        • #5
          Last ten players drafted at #18:

          Ryan Parent
          Chris Stewart
          Ian Cole
          Chet Pickard
          Louis Leblanc
          Austin Watson
          Mark McNeill
          Teuvo Teravainen
          Mirco Mueller
          Alex Tuch

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          • #6
            Ok, so like Alfie said, it's pretty much impossible to make predictions past the first round, with so many possible draft and trade scenarios.

            Personally, I'd be shocked if the Sens keep both of their 2nd rounders, and think Murry will either trade one in a package for a player, or, more likely given his history, will package two seconds to get an extra first rounder, like he did in 2003 to get Corey Perry or Matt Puempel in 2011.

            But, just for fun, I put together a little list of players I think might be available and the Sens might pick should they hold on to each of their picks.

            Impossible as it may be, I've been following/researching Murray's drafts for years, and I have some idea of his tendencies. I allowed myself one first choice pick, and two backup picks in case the first choice is already taken. I think Murray is looking for four thing more than anything else: speed, size, hockey iq, and winning pedigree, so these are the things I looked for primarily in my predictions.

            18 - Travis Konecny, C/RW, Ottawa, OHL - We know Murray loves to take a chance on former highly touted prospects who didn't have banner draft years and fell somewhat. (Lazar and Cowen were 1st overall in their respective bantam drafts, Perry and Puempel were 5th and 6th, respectively, in their OHL drafts). Konecny oozes offensive upside. Boom or bust, but with our prospect depth, we can afford the risk.
            - Joel Eriksson Ek, C, Farjestad, SHL - High-skilled, highly competitive two-way center.
            - Paul Bittner, LW, Portland, WHL - Big power winger who will only need one more year of junior before AHL-eligible. Plenty of experience in a winning atmosphere after three years in Portland.

            If Murray does trade for the second first rounder, watch for Swedish two-way defender Jacob Larsson out of Frolunda. If not,

            42 - Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, C, Omaha, USHL - Swede playing USHL, going to BU in the fall. Likely a long-term project who will stay three years at college. Decent skater, decent size, but scouts can't stop raving about his hockey IQ, vision and creativity.
            - Eric Cernak, RD, Kosice, Slvk - Big, physical shutdown defender, who has already won two Slovakian league championships, and helped lead Slovakian WJC team to first medal since 1999.
            - Austin Wagner, LW - One of the fastest skaters in the draft. Average size. Limited offensive skills at this point, but has some of the tools to develop into a top six forward.

            48 - Mitch Vande Sompel, LD, Oshawa, OHL - 5'10 but one of the better skaters in the draft. Quarterbacked the PP for the Memorial Cup champions. Huge offensive upside. Oshawa seem to have done excellent work with developing Tobias Lindberg this year.
            - Robin Kovacs, LW/RW, AIK, Allsvenskan - Speedy winger. Not big, but likes to play physical and mix it up. Projects to a bottom six energy forward/ agitator who can chip in some offense at the NHL level.
            - Matthew Spencer, RD, Petersborough, OHL - Like Konecny, a former high OHL pick, also has an OHL Cup and Ivan Hlinka gold. Not going to score much, but makes a good first pass, and eats up enormous minutes in all situations and against opponents' top lines.

            109 - Jesper Lindgren, RD, MODO, SHL - Smallish D, but a strong skater with good hockey IQ and high compete level.
            - Tim McGauley, C, Brandon, WHL - Twice undrafted, but came into his own this year as the top center on a budding young team. Whoever drafts him will likely let him turn pro next year, but I'd like to see him return for his over-age season and try to lead Brandon to a Memorial Cup.
            - Austin Strand, RD, Red Deer, WHL - Late blooming defenseman has NHL frame with good strength and balance. Stay-at-home D with a good outlet pass.

            139 - Marcus Vela, C, Langley, BCHL - 6'2, 200 lb power forward. Strong skater, thick frame, good hockey sense and great work ethic. Will be joining Sens prospect Shane Eiserman at New Hampshire U this fall.
            - David Cotton, C, Cushing Academy, USHS - High-skilled, big-bodied, explosive skating center, but he's coming out of high school so a major wild card. USHL next year before Boston College for 2016/17.
            - Brett Mckenzie, C, North Bay, OHL - Another former high OHL pick, coming through a program that teaches players how to win, our scouts saw him a lot when in North Bay to see Nick Paul. 6'2 and a strong skater with some upside.

            199 - Sam Miletic, LW, Green Bay, USHL - Excellent skater with decent size. Does a lot of things well and projects as a bottom six winger and PK specialist.
            - Liam Dunda, LW, Owen Sound, OHL - 6'4 power winger/grinder. Won't provide much offense, but skates well for his size and is very involved physically.
            - Ethan Spaxman, LD, Waterloo, USHL - Big, physical shutdwn D with a serious mean streak.
            Last edited by matchesmalone; 06-15-2015, 03:44 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Ok so I couldn't sleep last night so I got up and made this post. Now that I am well rested, I notice one major mistake. As high as I am on Christian Fischer, Bryan Murray has never in his career drafted a player straight out of the USDP. Fixed.

              Comment


              • #8
                This is my (semi-realistic) dream draft for the Sens this season:

                18 - Jeremy Roy (RD)
                42 - Vincent Dunn (LD)
                48 - Zachary Senyshyn (RW)
                109 - Robin Kovacs (LW)
                139 - Brendan Guhle (LD)

                I know that it's almost impossible that Kovacks and Guhle fall so low.. I'd really like to see the Sens get at least one 3rd Round pick back.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I could see Guhle falling as far as 109, but not Kovacs, and not 139 for Guhle. I'd condider picking him at 109 if he does fall that far, but wouldn't go any higher than that. He's clearly a physical specimen - cleaned up at tbe combine, but there are a lot of question marks around his hockey sense and intelligence.

                  Two guys I'm pretty excited about the possibility of drafting are Forsbacka Karlsson and David Cotton.

                  Forsbacka because he thinks the game so well; look at a guy like Mikael Granlund, a small guy who's not even a great skater, but gets by on his smarts more than anything else. Another guy to match Stone's and Karlsson's creativity on the powerplay would be a nightmare for opposition.

                  Cotton because he has late round steal written all over him. High end skill and could be a star at the NHL level, but still a lot of question marks playing only high school hockey against inferior competition.
                  Last edited by matchesmalone; 06-16-2015, 01:20 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I just realized one thing I hadn't considered when putting this together: our scouts.

                    Our top Ontarian scout, Greg Royce, left to join Tim Murray in Buffalo as his head amateur scout.

                    We no longer have a full-time scout based out of Ontario, and although we have a number of guys who do crossover there, the guy who will be most responsible for this huge area is Bob Janecyk (based out of Michigan), and his recent draft record is questionable, to say the least (he is credited for Tim Boyle, Miles Gendron, Max McCormick and Ryan Dzingel...), and here I have us picking OHL in the first round...

                    Our top two scouts now are both Western based (George Farger and Bob Lowes) and our chief amateur scout (Lowes) is known to do a lot of crossover work in Europe, particularly Sweden. Given this information, it seems most likely that our first rounder comes out of the WHL or Sweden. Although if a guy like Konecny from the OHL or Brock Boeser from the USHL does fall to us, it would be hard to pass up that opportunity.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Josh View Post
                      This is my (semi-realistic) dream draft for the Sens this season:

                      18 - Jeremy Roy (RD)
                      42 - Vincent Dunn (LD)
                      48 - Zachary Senyshyn (RW)
                      109 - Robin Kovacs (LW)
                      139 - Brendan Guhle (LD)

                      I know that it's almost impossible that Kovacks and Guhle fall so low.. I'd really like to see the Sens get at least one 3rd Round pick back.
                      There goes my first guy; Bruins just drafted Senyshyn :/

                      Dream draft is now:

                      18 - Jeremy Roy (RD)
                      21 - Travis Konecny (C)
                      42 - Vincent Dunn (LD)
                      48 - Robin Kovacs (LW)
                      109 - Brendan Guhle (LD)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Haha as soon as I saw Chabot's outfit, I was like "well I can tell this guy and Karlsson are going to become fast friends." Very fashionable, but then when I realized he's a left D, and that his best attribute is his skating, I started to think this kid could be Karlsson's D partner someday. And then I saw a scouting report that said Chabot's upside is as a top pairing defender whose game isn't particularly flashy, but who eats up huge minutes in all situations... could be a perfect compliment to Karlsson. Extremely excited about this possibility.

                        I don't know much about Colin White, but he sounds like a very complete three zone player. Maybe he doesn't have all the high end offensive tools, but they say his best attribute is his hockey sense and intelligence, which is exactly what can make guys like Mark Stone or Logan Couture such offensive threats, despite some otherwise fairly incomplete skill sets (Couture has a great shot, but skating is just ok, and stick skills and passing ability are good but not great; Stone a great passer and good stick skills, but pretty average shot and below average skating).
                        Last edited by matchesmalone; 06-27-2015, 01:19 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Yeah, I'm not really sure who Chabot is. I can't really comment there, perhaps after I do some research and watch some video.

                          I have to say I was disappointed with Colin White as a pick. Nothing against him ... He's probably the safest player in the draft. But I was hoping for a high-end potential pick because I feel we have a deep group of young guys already.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think I see where the Sens are going with this draft - size and scoring (6 feet or taller and 180 pounds or heavier while being at least top-15 in your league's scoring among all defensemen or forwards). Thomas Chabot (LD) is 6'2"/181 lbs and was 13th in scoring in his league (QMJHL) for defensemen. Colin White (C) is 6'0"/183 lbs and was 7th in scoring in his league (USDP) despite missing time to an injury. Chabot and White even share the same birthday - January 30th, 2007. With those criteria in mind (except the birthday), here are the players I think the Sens will take if available:

                            Jeremy Roy (RD - 6'0", 185 lbs - 11th in D scoring QMJHL)
                            Daniel Sprong (RW, 6'0", 183 lbs - 9th in F scoring QMJHL)
                            Vince Dunn (LD, 6'0", 185 lbs - 7th in D scoring OHL)
                            Christian Fischer (RW, 6'1, 212 lbs - 6th in F scoring USDP)
                            Tim McGauley (C, 6'0", 183 lbs - 3rd in F scoring WHL)
                            Adam Helewka (LW, 6'1", 190 lbs - 8th in F scoring WHL)

                            I'm assuming that Oliver Kylington will be already off the board here though. I'm actually pretty shocked he wasn't gone in the first round.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Haha and the first two picks of round two are Roy and Fischer. I have a feeling Murray goes with Erik Cernak with one of the seconds. For the later picks, really hoping for Brett McKenzie, Marcus Vela and David Cotton.

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