In preparation for the NHL Draft on June 27-28 in Philadelphia and in part because the Senators don't have a first round pick this year, we've decided to have a knockout tournament to determine Ottawa's best-ever first round pick.
To determine which player should take the honour, there are a lot of different factors to keep in mind:
- point totals
- single-season excellence
- First overall pick? Top-3? Top-5? Top-10? Late rounder?
- draft expectations
- Which players did the Senators pass on to draft any given first rounder
- individual awards/hardware
- success with the Senators
- success with other teams
- international success
- trade returns
- current potential
To keep things interesting, the above factors aren't ranked. Vote according to what you value most.
1. Erik Karlsson vs. 3. Jason Spezza
Karlsson was drafted 15th overall in 2008. He has played five seasons for the Senators. Karlsson is a two-time All-Star and was named a First Team All-Star in 2012. He won the Norris Trophy and the Viking Award in 2012. He's represented Sweden on five occasions, winning silver at the 2014 Olympics in addition to being named to the Olympic All-Star team and being named the tournament's best defender.
Karlsson beat Cody Ceci in the second round with 61.5% of the vote.
Karlsson beat Anton Volchenkov in the third round with 97% of the vote.
Karlsson beat Marian Hossa in the third round with 66.1% of the vote.
NHL totals: 315 GP, 63 G, 174 A, 237 P, 160 PIM
Spezza was drafted second overall in 2001. He has spent 11 seasons with the Senators. Spezza represented Canada at the World Juniors on three occasions, winning three medals, and has won two silver medals at the Worlds.
Spezza beat Andrej Meszaros in the second round with 97.8% of the vote.
He beat Martin Havlat in the third round with 96.1% of the vote.
Spezza beat Alexei Yashin in the fourth round with 88.8% of the vote.
NHL totals: 686 GP, 251 G, 436 A, 687 P, 434 PIM
A knockout tournament to determine Ottawa's best-ever first round pick