To launch with a shot of optimism for Ottawa Senators fans, recent seventh overall picks include the likes of Nazem Kadri, Mark Scheifele, and Quinn Hughes. Maybe not franchise taggers, but still stars in their own rights. Based on past outcomes, having a pick that high really leaves the door open, maybe for some old fashion wheeling and dealing, or trading up for example. It may be an on-the-fly call really, depending on who’s available, and what other teams wants are at the time. With 11 picks total in this year’s Ottawa Senators draft, they definitely have some chips to play with at that proverbial draft table. Finally, with a penchant for wanting to take that next leap as an organization, anything might be in play.
Potential Picks in the 2022 Ottawa Senators Draft
Team and Draft Requirements
In terms of specific needs, they need one of two things: high-end or skilled depth, and toughness. Any depth is nice, and last year’s Senators and their fans saw the necessity of it, as they were decimated with injuries. Of those who missed significant time, were top-tier players, including Drake Batherson, Thomas Chabot, Josh Norris, and Colin White. Whoever the Sens decide to get, toughness will be a needed component, as they moved away two grinders at the deadline, in Zach Sanford and Nick Paul. In terms of a specific player to fit those roles, it is tricky to narrow down exactly what would benefit the most, in particular from a high pick. Perhaps the best options would be someone who could fill the role of sniper for the second power-play unit, or else a bigger body on D.
A further consideration for the Senators, in terms of the draft strategy, is what is their timetable for success. Three years down the road, seems like when this core group of players could be ready and developed enough to really materialize into contenders. This season that has passed seems to be the last year that failure is somewhat acceptable. Of course, we know the daunting gap that exists in the East between playoff contenders and pretenders. However, the time is now in the upcoming season to significantly reduce that gap for this organization.
Given the depth at the front-end of this draft, it likely makes sense for the Sens to try for a major value add and keep their first pick. For a look at some of the names the Ottawa Senators draft personnel could be calling with that seventh overall pick, assuming that’s their call, consider:
He might be a good fit with Brady Tkachuk, and maybe bring a “Bash Brothers” feel to the team. He could benefit, as much as Tkachuk could in providing a leadership or mentorship role that could add maturity to both their games. Gauthier is known to be high on self-confidence. However, this trait isn’t necessarily a bad thing for American-born players, maybe think of Jeremy Roenick. He is a highly-skilled forward, already an NHL frame, and putting up big goal numbers (56 goals in 21-22 in various USA program teams). He should check the boxes for the Sens in supplemental scoring (beyond the first power-play unit), and also toughness.
If Gauthier is thought to be a bit riskier, Geekie will provide a higher standard of quality control for the scouts. He has the pedigree, being the younger brother of the Seattle Kraken’s Morgan Geekie. At 6-foot- he would be an ideal choice to stick in front of the net on the power play and bang and crash when required. He needs to develop his skating, but this current crop of Sens, with their youthful enthusiasm, provides a safety net. Many of their current top-nine forwards (Alex Formenton comes to mind), and some of their defence (Chabot) too, are great skaters.
📸Pictured: Russell’s Tyson Zimmer vs Strathclair’s Conor Geekie
There could be as many as 1⃣5⃣ Manitoban’s battling it out when the Brandon Wheat Kings welcome the Winnipeg Ice at Westoba Place tonight!😮 pic.twitter.com/DrBC6ftjQU
— Brandon Wheat Kings (@bdnwheatkings) March 11, 2022
In addition, he would be given more flexibility to work on his skating as he is a very cerebral player. He registered a respectable 70 points in 63 games for the Winnipeg Ice of the WHL this year but was an incredible +46. Anyone that responsible is (already) a key asset.
It is true, he may not be available for the Sens at seven, but at 6-foot-3, this is the type of size a team could use on the backend for years to come. He has the skills to play both special teams. In addition, for his club team in Czechia, HC Plzen, he tallied 5 goals in 29 games, an impressive total for a kid of his age. It was good enough to earn himself a spot on the Men’s team at the world championship and managed to put up points at all levels of competition. He could be likened to a Zach Bogosian type of defenceman with a higher ceiling of point-producing potential.
One further name that would fit the bill, is Juraj Slafkovsky, but the consensus is he won’t last until 7.
After First Round Ottawa Senators Draft
As for the rest of the draft, Ottawa wants to focus on looking for diamond in the rough type offensive talent or bolster the D pipeline. With two second and third-round picks, this could be an important draft. Julian Lutz, a German national, might be a good fit. He is already strong on the puck, a trait valued by the Senator’s lineup. Moreover, Ottawa has had a long tradition of Swedish backing. A couple names that could be available into the late second, early third are Ludwig Persson or Simon Forsmack. Owen Beck looks like a sound selection and a solid two-way player. Noah Warren a 6-foot-5 right-shot defenceman for Gatineau might grow into a difference-maker outside a team’s top pairing, wherever he ends up. One further name to throw out there, that brings scoring (32 goals) and a physical presence, Reid Schaefer of the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds.
Whatever ends up shaking down for the Senators at this year’s draft, look for a lot of excitement for the team heading into the 2022-23 season.
|2nd||63rd||Lightning – Gaborik/Coburn trade|
|3rd||86th||Bruins – Reilly trade|
|5th||142nd||Jets – Sanford trade|
|5th||150th||Bruins – Brown trade|
|7th||205th||Islanders – Coburn Trade|