While Alexis Lafreniere will almost certainly end up with an undetermined play-in team, it’s still a great situation for Ottawa. Their own pick dropped all the way down to fifth overall, which may be the most Ottawa thing ever, but the San Jose Sharks selection acquired in the Erik Karlsson trade nets the Sens the third overall choice in this year’s draft.
In a vacuum, this is an absolute home run for the Ottawa Senators. They are seemingly guaranteed one of Quinton Byfield or Tim Stutzle, and will also add a nice piece in one of Lucas Raymond, Marco Rossi, Jamie Drysdale, Cole Perfetti, or honestly whoever they end up taking (Sanderson?). With this being the case, the Senators are guaranteed to end up with at least one marquee prospect, and another fantastic addition.
Who Ottawa will take with the third overall selection is truly anyone’s guess. Byfield has been the consensus #2 for most of the past year, but a late surge has many people eyeing Stutzle, including TSN’s Bob McKenzie, who listed the young German at number two on his final prospect rankings. Even with all that said, Pierre Dorion and Co. have developed a reputation for making off-the-board picks.
Where this is sure to be a point of contention for Senators’ fans, is the fact that a play-in team will be getting Alexis Lafreniere. The idea of play-in teams being included in the lottery was maligned from the beginning, and now that it has proven to come at the expense of teams like Ottawa and Detroit is a tough pill to swallow for struggling fanbases.
That said, this is still a slam dunk for the Sens. Even if a squad like the Leafs, Canadiens, or Penguins ends up with the first overall selection, Ottawa is guaranteed to get two quality players, and is arguably in the best position to build a contending team going forward.
But what do you folks think? Is this a win? A loss? Are you emotionally numb? Let us know in the comments below.