He wrote "The Sens are aging up front, so this small (5-10, 170) forward could help."
I wrote an instant comment on that nuggets article that this was a silly assessment, as the only players over thirty up front are Alfie, Neil, and Konopka. I put forward there the idea with having stocked up in the last draft on forwards, we'd be headed back to the D for sure this draft. It got me thinking, though, what is our biggest need in this coming draft?
As I stated earlier, the assesment that our current crop is aging is just plain incorrect. Even if it were so, we've got some elements in the pipeline that may be able to replace them. Coming up we have, in no particular order, Zibanijad, Prince, Puempel, Noesson, Stone, Silfverberg and Pageau. Between all of these, even knowing that devellopment isn't always what we would hope for, we should hopefully get at least 2, if not more, legitimate top sixers out of this pack. That being said, I'm not so sure that any one of them is a potential top line guy. The ceiling on all of them is likely on the second line. When Spezza's contract is up in a few years, if he doesn't get resigned, we don't have anyone who can take his place as the big guy in team points.
This is a point worth addressing, but these kinds of players don't grow on trees. To get a guy with solid first line potential, we probably need a top 3 draft pick. If we're drafting that early, we're probably going for the best player available, and not worrying so much about positional need.
We're so used to this being a position of strength in our prospect pool. That said, though, the big names have graduated to the big league. Rundblad, Cowen and Karlsson are going to be leading the defence core sooner, rather than later, and some of our older guys are on the way out. Kuba isn't likely to be here next year, and even if we keep Gonchar, he'll be at retirement age pretty soon. Who is coming up the pipeline to replace them? Weircioch, Gryba, and the Borocop. These guys are all decent depth guys, but can any of them round out the top 4 with the current big 3 young guys? Are any of them even solid choices for top 6 guys? Signings and trades can take care of some of this, but I'd like to see a little more in the pipeline ready to grow from within.
We've got Anderson for 4 years. Robin Lehner could be the real thing hunting him from the AHL. After that... I was actually surprised the Sens ruled out drafting a goalie BEFORE the 2011 draft. I would have thought that an extra depth guy would be good for the organization. One thing I'll give the
Best Player Available
This is always the veto to all talk like this. Always draft the Best Player Available, no matter your organizational need. Brian Murray talked a lot about this before the 2011 draft, but then somehow ended up drafting mostly forwards, the pretty much unanimously chosen biggest need of the organization at the time. Technically, I support this theory, but it makes speculative posts like this one a lot less fun.
What do you think?