The Ottawa Senators have flown slightly under the radar in relation to the number of prospects that will be ready for the NHL in a short matter of time. They have many talented defencemen in the Major Junior ranks as well as the AHL and European pro leagues. A few young forwards were able to get a taste of the NHL this past season along with a couple more who have had strong seasons in the junior leagues.
Dorion to Make His Mark with Senators
With Pierre Dorion in as the team’s new general manager, the draft plan may be slightly different than it was compared to before the season ended. His predecessor Bryan Murray was determined to look for a top-six potential forward, but Dorion does not have the same urgency in that regard. With a new coach at the helm as well, certain players will have more room to breathe and a chance to make a new impression.
Dorion will look to add another top-end defenceman to the team’s organizational depth, and at the 12th overall position in the draft, there should be a good number of those still available. Looking at the organization depth chart, one can put together a hypothetical future lineup that could be quite solid, discounting any potential trade, free agent signing or draft pick in between that time.
|Mike Hoffman||Kyle Turris||Mark Stone|
|Zack Smith||Colin White||Bobby Ryan|
|Francis Perron||Mika Zibanejad||Curtis Lazar|
|Ryan Dzingel||Jean-Gabriel Pageau||Gabriel Gagné|
|Thomas Chabot||Erik Karlsson|
|Andreas Englund||Cody Ceci|
|Dion Phaneuf||Chris Wideman|
|Matt O’Connor||Andrew Hammond|
Judging by this depth chart, it is difficult to point to a single weakness that Ottawa has. Even so, Dorion has no doubt made an assessment of the organization’s prospects. He will determine which area the team needs to address the most.
It seems to be a very tight race between positions eight to 20, so the best player available will not be such an easy thing to determine. If Dorion feels that defence is the position that he needs to address the most based on what he has said, then there could still be a few very good options available. Calgary Hitmen’s Jake Bean could be available, giving Ottawa another effective puck-mover in the organization. If depth at centre needs addressing, then Clayton Keller could be a good choice.
In the end, Dorion feels that the Senators will be picking at their original 12th position. He believes that he will receive an impact player no matter which 11 go to other teams before. The new general manager has a great opportunity to make his mark early on.