The Ottawa Senators went in to the NHL draft lottery with a 17 per cent chance of moving down a spot and, as luck would have it, they defied the odds. The New Jersey Devils won the draft lottery, moved up to fourth overall, and bumped the Senators from fifth to sixth overall.
We're still months away from the actual date of the draft (it's happening on June 24-25), but the Senators should still likely have a good opportunity to select a good player--in all likelihood, a good centreman will be available. There is little consensus about picks beyond Adam Larsson being the top European skater: In the NHL Central Scouting final rankings, Sean Couturier fell from second to sixth among North American skaters, while Ryan Strome climbed from 19 to eighth. There will likely be quite a few surprises in the first round of draft day.
One thing many will be afraid of, considering Bryan Murray's stated plan to draft the best player available? The Senators failing to add a dynamic forward and instead drafting one of the highly-ranked defencemen available, such as Dougie Hamilton, Nathan Beaulieu, or Jonas Brodin. It's impossible to know whether or not that will set the team back, but it is obvious that the Senators need forwards a lot better than defencemen.
Two months of draft speculation begins today.