Senators Have 3 Good Trade Targets to Improve the Defence

The Ottawa Senators have gotten off to a rough 4-6-0 start to the 2022-23 season. Josh Norris may be out for the season and Artem Zub is week-to-week with an upper-body injury. It seems as though the high hopes of this team making the playoffs is slowly dwindling, but there is still tons of time to turn it around.

Related: 4 Observations From Senators’ First 6 Games

They currently sit last in the Atlantic Division, and it seems as though they have more holes in their roster than previously projected. This team card courtesy of Jfresh Hockey shows that the Senators have been one of the best teams in the league in generating scoring chances, but sit 21st in goals against.

Ottawa Senators Team Card, 2022-23
Ottawa Senators Team Card, 2022-23 (Courtesy of JFresh Hockey)

Everything points to them being a top-10 team offensively, but what about their defence? It seems as though Jake Sanderson is the best defender, despite being 20 years old and in his rookie season. If they want to compete for the playoffs, they may have to trade for a defenceman to help out with some of these issues. Here are three trade targets that they could look at early in the season on defence.

Scott Mayfield (NYI)

Scott Mayfield fills the biggest need for the Senators, which is a right-shot defenceman. He has one year remaining on his contract at $1.45 million and is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the upcoming offseason.

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The 30-year-old defensive defenceman has spent his entire career with the New York Islanders, but the team may look to move him before he potentially walks in free agency. Mayfield would immediately slot in the top four alongside Sanderson, who has been one of the best players on the Senator to start the season.

The best part about acquiring Mayfield is the price would likely be something manageable. It would be a small move with the chance to fill a huge need on the blue line. He’s behind Ryan Pulock and Noah Dobson on the Islanders’ depth chart, and they would benefit from moving him to get an asset in return. He would be an upgrade over both Travis Hamonic and Nikita Zaitsev on the second pairing and could provide valuable penalty-killing services to the Senators as well.

Jakob Chychrun (ARZ)

This is the “home run” trade. If they want to go all in, Jakob Chychrun is the player they are missing. He can immediately play top-four minutes in every situation and be one of the best defenders on the team. He has three years remaining on his contract valued at $4.6 million per season.

The price for Chychrun would be much higher than any other option on this list, but it would fix a ton of the Senators’ issues defensively. The 6-foot-2 defenceman put up 21 points in 47 games last year. He is one of the most talented offensive-defencemen in the NHL, and would significantly benefit from being traded from the Coyotes.

Jakob Chychrun Arizona Coyotes
Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

There are issues with making a move of this magnitude. Chychrun is a left-shot defenceman and the Senators have a boatload of those already on the roster, which would force someone to play on their off-side. The 2023 NHL Draft class is expected to be loaded with talent, and the Coyotes would likely be asking for that pick and more. If the Senators give up their 2023 first-round pick, and they miss the playoffs, they will have experienced the worst-case scenario. The talent is undeniable, but this would project to be a high-risk, high-reward move.

Luke Schenn (VAN)

The Vancouver Canucks are imploding. They have started the season 2-6-2, and are last in the Pacific Division. Luke Schenn is a name that may become available in the next couple of weeks, especially after the news that the Vancouver Canucks traded for Ethan Bear from the Carolina Hurricanes.

According to, Schenn has put up a 55 percent expected goals percentage alongside Quinn Hughes on the Canucks’ top pairing. He has proven that he can be a defensive complement to a young, offensive defenceman, and he would fit with Sanderson nicely on the second pairing.

Luke Schenn Vancouver Canucks
Luke Schenn, Vancouver Canucks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

This would be another low-cost acquisition, as the Canucks are likely going to be selling this season. Schenn has one year remaining on his contract and could provide a boost to the Senators’ defence core.

The Sens have given up way too many shots for Anton Forsberg to handle. If they can acquire a defender, it will increase their playoff chances by plenty. If they were to go all-in and acquire Chychrun, he would improve their defence for the next three years and would elevate them into being a contender. Only time will tell whether or not the Senators are willing to make a move, but these three targets are a good place to start.

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