Monday, June 1, 2009

Ottawa Senators Draft Preview

First Round Position: 9th overall

Best Picks of last 3 Years:

Erik Karlsson (D) – 1st round 2008
Patrick Wiercioch (D) – 2nd round 2008
Nick Foligno (LW) – 1st round 2006
Louie Caporusso (F) – 3rd round 2007
Eric Gryba (D) – 3rd round 2006

Coming Down the Pipe – There is no question that the strength of Ottawa’s prospect pool is on the backend where blueliners like newly signed Erik Karlsson, Brian Lee, and Denver Pioneer Patrick Wiercioch await. There are also talented Euro rearguards in the system but they aren’t in North America yet. Brian Elliot shows promise as a goalie but the Senators have little long-term depth behind him. An offensive forward would be in demand as Ottawa has plenty of character and mid-level skaters but lacks a high-end threat.

Draft Trends – Historically the Senators have drafted many Russians but that trend seems to have recently come to an end, as they haven’t selected anyone directly from that country in the past three years (Ruslan Bashkirov was in the QMJHL). Ottawa hasn’t drafted a goalie in the first 4 rounds since Jeff Glass in 2004. Only 2 of Ottawa’s 11 picks in the last two years have come from the Canadian Hockey League while 6 were NCAA-bound and 3 were Swedes.

Millard: Nazem Kadri - Ottawa is hoping Erik Karlsson, Patrick Wiercioch and Brian Lee will turn into solid defenceman, so grabbing London, Ontario native Nazem Kadri will help an average forward prospect department.

Flaming: Nazem Kadri – With lots of blueline prospect depth in Ottawa already, I fully expect that the Senators will be looking at forwards and Kadri’s offensive abilities make him an attractive fit.

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