FanPost

Top 5 Best Drafts in Sens History

With the 2016 NHL draft set to take place soon on June 24-25th, I've decided to start a mini FanPost series revolving around the Senators' draft history. This one takes a look back at the best drafts in the history of the Ottawa Senators.

---

Honourable Mentions

1: 1997

Drafted: Marian Hossa (12), Jani Hurme (58), Josh Langfeld (66), Magnus Arvedsson (119), Jeffrey Sullivan (146), Robin Bacul (173), Nick Gillis (203), Karel Rachunek (229)

The first ever draft with the Sens picking outside the top 3, they hit a home run in picking Marian Hossa. At 37, he's still putting up over 0.5 P/GP, and surpassed the 1,000 point mark last season.

Two other names that pop out are Magnus Arvedsson, who spent six seasons on the Sens averaging around 30-40 points a season, and 9th round steal Karel Rachunek, who spent four seasons with the big club before ultimately going to the KHL. He still managed to play over 300 games in the NHL.

Overall, the 1997 draft had 5/8 picks play at least 1 NHL game, for a total of 1,486 points in 2,260 GP.

2: 2009

Drafted: Jared Cowen (9), Jakob Silfverberg (39), Robin Lehner (46), Chris Wideman (100), Mike Hoffman (130), Jeff Costello (146), Corey Cowick (160), Brad Peltz (190), Michael Sdao (191)

The 2009 draft has been criticized by many for the choice of picking bone-crushing defenseman Jared Cowen with the 9th overall pick. He had an excellent career in junior, but considering players like Ryan Ellis, Nick Leddy, Chris Kreider and Marcus Johansson within the next 20 picks, it's fair to say this selection doesn't look so good (if only we picked 6th).

Looking past that, however, GMBM and company had an excellent draft. Jakob Silfverberg played well before becoming a centrepiece in the Bobby Ryan trade, Robin Lehner led the Binghamton Senators to a Calder Cup, Chris Wideman is suiting up to be a reliable depth d-man, and Mike Hoffman is, well, Mike Hoffman. There were some excellent quality picks in rounds 2-5.

Overall, the 2009 draft had 5/9 players play at least 1 NHL game, for a total of 294 points in 869 GP.

---

Top Five

#5: 1994

Drafted: Radek Bonk (3), Stanislav Neckar (29), Bryan Masotta (81), Mike Gaffney (131), Daniel Alfredsson (133), Doug Sproule (159), Frederic Cassivi (210), Danny Dupont (211), Steve MacKinnon (237), Antti Tormanen (274)

Daniel Alfredsson was drafted 133rd overall, and ended up being the highest scoring player in the draft. That alone says a lot about how successful this draft was for Randy Sexton and the rest of the Sens management.

Other than Alfie, Radek Bonk played 10 seasons with the Sens, and Stanislav Neckar had over 500 games of NHL experience. No one else sticks out besides that, but the Alfie factor is what ultimately rockets this draft in the top 5.

Overall, the 1994 draft had 5/10 players play at least 1 NHL game, for a total of 1,722 points in 2,788 GP.

#4: 2001

Drafted: Jason Spezza (2), Tim Gleason (23), Neil Komadoski (81), Ray Emery (99), Christoph Schubert (127), Stefan Schauer (162), Brooks Laich (193), Jan Platil (218), Brandon Bochenski (223), Neil Petruic (235), Gregg Johnson (256), Toni Dahlman (286)

After just trading Alexei Yashin in a deal that brought them the 2nd overall pick, the Sens needed to find a legitimate first line centre moving forward. They found that player in Jason Spezza, who spent 11 seasons with Ottawa, amassing over 80 points on numerous occasions (he would've hit 100 in 2005-06 if it weren't for injury).

After Spezza came a bunch more excellent picks. Although he never played a game with Ottawa, Tim Gleason has been a consistently serviceable top-6 defenseman. Ray Emery backstopped the Sens to the cup finals in '07. Christoph Schubert put up respectable numbers during his five seasons in Ottawa. Brooks Laich was able to put up 50-point campaigns after being moved to Washington. Many players in 2001 found their way into regular NHL lineups, which made this an excellent draft year,

Overall, the 2001 draft had 7/12 players play at least 1 NHL game, for a total of 1,431 points in 3,114 GP.

#3: 2011

Drafted: Mika Zibanejad (6), Stefan Noesen (21), Matt Puempel (24), Shane Prince (61), Jean-Gabriel Pageau (96), Fredrik Claesson (126), Darren Kramer (156), Max McCormick (171), Jordan Fransoo (186), Ryan Dzingel (204)

At the number three spot is the most recent draft to make this list. This draft came after a dismal 2010-11 season, and was supposed to mark a mini-rebuild by trading away players such as Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly and Jarkko Ruutu. The Sens made the most of it, having some late success with players like Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Fredrik Claesson and Ryan Dzingel.

Although most of these players haven't proven themselves to be NHL regulars just yet (with the exception of Zibanejad and Pageau), this draft has the potential to overtake the #1 spot in the future. Wingers Matt Puempel, Shane Prince and Ryan Dzingel could all turn into staples in the top-6. Fredrik Claesson looked solid when paired with Karlsson on the top line. And to add to all that, Max McCormick could become a reliable depth energy player. And even more, Zibanejad could eventually take over the 1C spot, at times showing flashes of brilliance.

Overall, the 2011 draft had 8/10 players play at least 1 NHL game, for a total of 258 points in 621 GP.

#2: 1996

Drafted: Chris Phillips (1), Antti-Jussi Niemi (81), Andreas Dackell (136), Francois Hardy (163), Erich Goldmann (212), Ivan Ciernik (216), Sami Salo (239)

Although none of the names are really eye-popping, this draft was so successful for two reasons:

Firstly, six players have played at least one game in the NHL, which is extremely impressive considering they only had seven picks. Francois Hardy is the only one not to make it of the bunch. The recently retired Chris Phillips currently holds the all-time record for games played in a Senators uniform. Sami Salo has over 800 games played. Andreas Dackell spent five years on the Sens before being traded to Montreal, amassing 50 points in 1998-99. If the Sens could draft with an 85% success rate every time, we'd probably have a few Stanley Cups by now.

Secondly, what makes the feat even more impressive, was that they were able to accomplish it in a weak draft year. When you think of the standard for 1st overall picks, Chris Phillips doesn't really fit the bill. But he was, however, definitely the best player drafted within the first 10 picks, possibly further. Also, Sami Salo was the only player in the 9th round to reach over 200 points in his career (he was the third last player drafted). Considering no one in this draft class hit 700 points in their career, it really speaks to how well the Sens drafted that year.

Overall, the 1996 draft had 6/7 players play at least 1 NHL game, for a total of 905 points in 2,790 GP.

#1: 2008

Drafted: Erik Karlsson (15), Patrick Wiercioch (42), Zack Smith (79), Andre Petersson (109), Derek Grant (119), Mark Borowiecki (139), Emil Sandin (199)

2008 is currently far and away the best draft in Ottawa Senators history, which is incredible considering it took place in Ottawa. Firstly, they stole Erik Karlsson at #15, and we all know what he's about. Then they went on to draft depth defensemen Patrick Wiercioch and Mark Borowiecki, along with Zack Smith, who just came off an excellent season. Derek Grant still has the potential to settle into a depth role as well, playing 15 games on Calgary this past season.

Ultimately, Erik Karlsson is what made this draft the best in franchise history, but the fact that so many of the depth picks have gone on to have varying degrees of success in the NHL is also impressive.

Overall, the 2008 draft had 6/7 players play at least 1 NHL game, for a total of 578 points in 1,278 GP.

---

Think any other draft should've made the list? Agree/disagree with the rankings? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

This FanPost was written by a member of the Silver Seven community, and does not necessarily reflect the beliefs or opinions of the site managers, editors, or Sports Blogs Nation, Inc.