For back-to-back years we could see a top ten pick be traded on draft day. Last year the Vancouver Canucks traded the 9th overall pick to the Arizona Coyotes in a package that saw Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland come the other way. The Ottawa Senators are in a similar position as the Canucks. They’re looking to package the seventh overall pick to get help with either a top-six right-winger or a top pair defenceman. The odds are good that this could happen.
Rumour: At a press conference yesterday, Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said it is 50/50 whether their 7th overall pick gets moved.
Pierre Dorion tells TSN radio there’s a 50/50 chance of moving their first round draft pick.
— Steve Warne (@TSNSteve) July 6, 2022
Analysis: If the Senators want to improve, they need a steady partner for Thomas Chabot and a talented winger to play with Tim Stützle. The only steady right-shot defenceman Ottawa has right now is Artem Zub, who can’t play with Chabot and Jake Sanderson. Ottawa’s desire to add another top-six winger became more immediate when Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freidman reported that Connor Brown would like to test free agency next year. Using the seventh pick to add some immediate help is the right step for the organization.
Can the Ottawa Senators land Alex DeBrincat?
Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia has been the reporter producing the most names that Ottawa could be interested in. The most intriguing option is Chicago Blackhawks right-winger Alex DeBrincat. The forward is 24 years old and has scored 41 goals twice in his five-year career. He could form a fantastic duo with Stützle, who is a playmaking centre. He can also make Ottawa’s power play lethal with two elite scoring threats with him and Joshua Norris.
Garrioch reported that Chicago is one of the teams most interested in acquiring another top-10 pick in this draft. Ottawa will have competition from the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers, who have higher selections than they do. But they’re seriously in the race.
DeBrincat has one year left on his deal and then one year until free agency. Moving a high pick and more for a player who might be on your team for a short period is not ideal, but Ottawa can’t be scared. They have a tough time attracting players in free agency, and star players usually get traded around the time their deal expires. If they want to improve, they will have to take the risk. The Senators should be confident that their young core can entice DeBrincat to stay long-term.
What about Jakob Chychrun?
Today, TSN’s Darren Dreger built off Garrioch’s reporting and said the Devils and Senators could land Jakob Chychrun.
Lots of speculation linking Chychrun to the 2nd pick and maybe Ottawa’s 7th. Senators seem less likely because of their LD, but anything is possible. Devils could use Chychrun. https://t.co/ItSQuoCIWV
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 7, 2022
Chychrun is certainly a top-pair defenceman that the Senators could use. He had a monster season in 2020-21, playing 23 minutes a night, scoring 41 points in 56 games and finishing 10th in Norris Trophy voting. His play dropped this season, but he’s been battling injuries and playing for the second-worst team in the league.
Chychrun can bring a lot of value to Ottawa. His 6’2 and 220 pounds frame adds some much-needed muscle to Ottawa’s smallish blue line. This will also help Chabot defensively, who is tall but not big. Offensively, Chabot is a sublime skater, stickhandler and passer, but he doesn’t have the hardest shot. Chychrun can receive passes from Chabot and pound the puck.
The problem is that Chychrun is also a left-shot defenceman. Unless he or Chabot can play on their off-side, it might not be a perfect fit. If one of them can, that becomes one of the best young pairings in the league.
Other names Garrioch reported that other players who could be fits in Ottawa include J.T. Miller and Conor Garland of the Vancouver Canucks, Blake Wheeler and Pierre-Luc Dubois of the Winnipeg Jets, Jesse Puljujarvi of the Edmonton Oilers and Josh Anderson of the Montreal Canadiens. From that list, Garland and Puljujarvi make the most sense. Garland is a hard-working and gritty forward who scored 52 points last season. Puljujarvi is a fast winger who is a strong two-way forward. His production with a career-high 36 points warrants him being more of a middle-six than a top-six forward.
Why did the Sens decide to move on from Colin White? Will Pierre Dorion actually go through with dealing the No. 7 pick to find immediate help? What is the top priority for the team following the NHL Draft?@SunGarrioch & @JayOnrait discuss on @JayOnSC: https://t.co/LixrdU4WOn pic.twitter.com/qhbHnEoGG7
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) July 6, 2022