Senators select Matt Puempel 24th overall

Matt Puempel is Ottawa's best hope for scoring in the future. via flamesnation.ca


The Ottawa Senators traded back up into the first round, sending the 35th overall pick and 48th overall pick to Detroit to select Matthew Puempel of the Peterborough Petes with the 24th pick.

This is a move that unequivocally acknowledges Ottawa's desperate need for scorers. Puempel is focused on putting the puck in the net, and it's why he was ranked so highly. In his sophomore season for the Petes, he put up 69P (34G, 35A), following up a rookie of the year campaign with better numbers.

Puempel fell because his skating needs to improve, and his season ended early due to hip surgery. This was obviously not a concern for the Senators. As NHL.com notes:

His  operation was performed by renowned hip specialist Dr. Marc Philippon – the same doctor who operated on Mario Lemieux and Marian Gaborik. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Here's some scouts' opinions:

Scott Campbell of The Scouting Report:

High expectations were bestowed upon the 2009/2010 CHL rookie of the year this season; one that proved to be pretty disappointing for Matt Puempel. A combination of a poor Peterborough squad and a late season ending hip injury made this season a difficult one for Puempel. Despite the negatives, Puempel still remains as one of the premier goal scorers in this crop. Puempel will likely make a living off his release and shot power/accuracy, but he improved some of the other areas of his game this season as well. It was evident that he started to take some steps to become more of a dominant player on his own and began to create a lot of his own opportunities instead of relying on a center to get him the puck. Assuming NHL teams are satisfied with his injury rehabilitation, Puempel is still very much a Top 15 type player.

Chris Edwards of NHL Central Scouting:

He is dangerous with the puck and has an excellent shot, he has the ability to make highly skilled passes through traffic and can make his linemates better. His goals are skilled goals. He goes to the net and he battles. He's not shy about getting involved in traffic and going to the net.

Brian Huddle of The Hockey Writers:

With all the makings of a top goal scorer at the NHL Level, Puempel shows signs of being a wildcard who could be taken much higher than most expect. His pure skill and hands are a desirable to any scout or GM in the National Hockey League.

 

Puempel immediately becomes Ottawa's best hope to develop a top line scorer.

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