Two huge draft years ahead for the Ottawa Senators

The Ottawa Senators are now in a full rebuild after trading away their best players and the next two draft classes will be crucial to this process.

Mark Stone, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel were all traded at the deadline a month ago, with former captain Erik Karlsson leaving prior to the 2018/19 season.

The team is dead-last in the entire NHL, but they do have some young pieces already in their system that could be important towards this rebuilding phase.

Brady Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot are legitimate players that the team can build around, with Max Veronneau, Erik Brannstrom and Filip Gustavsson all having intriguing futures ahead.

Brannstrom is arguably the team’s best prospect after joining in the Stone trade, with the Swedish defenceman making his NHL debut in the 2-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues.

While the Senators have a few promising pieces to complement their legitimate future stars, the next two years will be the most crucial from a drafting perspective.

In 2019, the Sens have seven selections in the draft – with three of them expected to be in the first two rounds after the Columbus Blue Jackets’ draft place is discovered.

If the Blue Jackets manage to miss the playoffs and land a top-three pick, the Senators will receive a first-rounder in next year’s draft class.

The 2019 class will be an important one for the Senators, but it is 2020 that is arguably the one that will have the biggest impact on the team’s rebuild.

As things currently stand, the Senators will have an impressive 12 picks in 2020 – with FIVE of those picks coming in the first two rounds, seven picks come in the first three.

The 2019/20 season will be a difficult one for the Senators, but it could be a great opportunity for their young prospects to get ice time in the NHL and develop their game while also have virtually no expectations.

If the Senators bottom-out in 2020, they could be in with a shot at landing legitimate future star Alexis Lafreniere, a French-Canadian winger hailing from Saint-Eustache, Quebec, less than two hours away from the capital.

Having so many picks in the early rounds of next year’s draft could see the Sens land a few legitimate NHL players that can help the team progress through their rebuild faster than originally anticipated.

Drafting in any sport is difficult, with some dead-certs suddenly turning out to be busts, while some under the radar players develop into stars when very few people expected them to.

However, the Ottawa Senators must find a way to land players that can develop in their system with the Belleville Senators.

Three first-rounders, five second-rounders and three third rounders over the next two drafts are a great foundation to build the team back up, as long as the organisation make each pick count.

What do you think Sens fans? Are there any players entering the draft this year or next that you would love to see the team take?

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