Senators scouts roll up their sleeves

Senators scouts roll up their sleeves

It might be fun to be a fly on the wall this weekend as the Ottawa Senators scouting staff gets together to dissect the top prospects eligible for the NHL entry draft on June 22-23.

Then again, maybe not. A fly might get hit by something flying across the room.

“The discussions get very animated,” says Pierre Dorion, the Senators director of player personnel. “That’s great. All of our scouts are entitled to give their opinions. Over the last five years, the talks have become very animated, especially at the year end meetings, when they feel strongly about (some) players.”

During the course of the weekend, the Senators will go over all the names before coming together on a master list of 140 prospects, from their existing six area lists: Europe, the Ontario Hockey League, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, American college, high school and Tier II.

The Senators own the 15th overall selection in the first round and traded away their second round selection in the deal to acquire centre Kyle Turris from the Phoenix Coyotes, meaning there’s a little less excitement than a year ago when they went into draft weekend owning the sixth and 21st selections and five picks in the first two rounds. The Senators re-stocked their organization with forwards, including Mika Zibanejad, who was taken with that sixth choice.

The Senators won’t have a chance to secure consensus first overall pick Nail Yakupov of Sarnia or any and Dorion says it’s “unlikely” that their first round selection will be able to step directly into the NHL next season.

Just the same, Dorion says different scouts see players in different ways and there’s always a chance the Senators could end up with a player they consider to be one of the top 10 prospects. It’s also possible that Senators general manager Bryan Murray could be presented with a trade proposal that ends up giving the Senators an earlier selection.

“You always have to be prepared, just in case,” he says. “Bryan Murray relies on his scouts. You have to be prepared to have a number one, a number two, a number three pick. Sometimes, (trades) happen when you least expect it.”

It figures to be an intriguing draft because there are few guarantees at the top end, other than that Yakupov is regarded as the most talented player. Based on the mock draft lists of several scouting agencies, there is little agreement on which players might be selected among the top five or top 10. One constant on most lists, though, is that there are more high end defencemen than forwards.

The way Dorion sees it, there are anywhere from 20-25 high-end talented players who should become decent NHL players. While the Senators currently have better prospects at the forward position, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Senators will pick a defenceman.

“If there’s a great asset available at number 15, you owe it to the organization to take him.”

Prospects 1-20, according to The Hockey News

1-Nail Yakupov, RW, Sarnia (OHL)

2-Filip Forsberg, RW, Leksand (Sweden)

3-Mikhail Grigorenko, C, Quebec (QMJHL)

4-Ryan Murray, D, Everett (WHL)

5-Matt Dumba, D, Red Deer (WHL)

6-Morgan Rielly, D, Moose Jaw (WHL)

7-Alex Galchenkyuk, LW/C, Sarnia (OHL)

8-Griffin Reinhart, D, Edmonton (WHL)

9-Jacob Trouba, D, USNTDP

10-Cody Ceci, D, Ottawa (OHL)

11-Radek Faksa, C, Kitchener (OHL)

12-Teuvo Teravainen, Jokerit (Finland)

13-Derrick Pouliot, D, Portland (WHL)

14-Sebastian Collberg, RW, Frolunda (Sweden)

15-Hampus Lindholm, D, Rogle (Sweden)

16-Zemgus Girgensons, C, Dubuque (USHL)

17-Brendan Gaunce, C, Belleville (OHL)

18-Matthew Finn, D, Guelph (OHL)

19-Ludvig Bystrom, D, Modo (Sweden)

20-Olli Maatta, D, London (OHL)

 

 

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