The moment the Ottawa Senators didn’t win the NHL Draft Lottery, there were questions about, not only a system that took away the two worst team’s chances to draft the best player, but whether or not the Senators might package the two picks they do have to get into that No. 1 spot.
The Senators wound up landing the No. 3 and No. 5 picks in this year’s draft and with those picks, the team will certainly grab two very good players. It’s likely one of them will be NHL ready. That said, there was a lot of talk that a team with some really good young prospects would have another one in Alexis Lafreniere. Instead, that luxury will go the New York Rangers.
The Rangers haven’t shot down the idea that they’d trade the pick in the right situation. Would getting the No. 3 and No. 5 picks be that situation? Maybe, but it probably won’t matter.
Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch noted a report out of Los Angeles on Friday that indicated there was chatter among league executives that the Senators may make the offer of those two picks to the Rangers to see if the club could get Lafrenière. Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has denied those rumors. Melnyk says the team won’t be entertaining the idea of trying to move up in this year’s draft.
The idea of trading our 3rd and 5th picks for the No. 1 pick is nonsensical. We’re very excited to welcome our many new Ottawa Senators that will come to us via the upcoming draft.
Ottawa seems happy to land either OHL center Quinton Byfield or German forward Tim Stutzle with the third pick. GM Pierre Dorion has been stockpiling picks for what he calls one of the best drafts in 20 years and explained:
“We’ve got two picks in the top five, we know we’re going to get a tremendous player at No. 3, we’ll let Detroit take No. 4 and we know we’re going to get another special player at No. 5.”
Montreal Might Make a Run at No. 1
While Garrioch notes that Ottawa is out, he does say, “expectation is the Montreal Canadiens will make a pitch for 1st overall because they were one of the most vocal teams about having a shot at the pick during the discussions about the lottery format.”
That’s an interesting take considering the Canadiens are still in the playoff picture and the more they win (or at least if they make it through the Flyers and subsequent teams to follow), the worse their first-round pick will get.
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