This year’s NHL Draft Lottery didn’t come with the freight train of hype that last year’s did for Ottawa Senators fans, but they were no less engaged in the draw as it took place. Ottawa’s odds had them most likely to wind up with the 10th overall selection — having picked third and fifth last year — and in the end, that’s where they stayed.
This will be the third time in the last four years that the Senators will pick in the top 10. They would have owned the fourth overall selection in 2019, but the pick was traded to the Colorado Avalanche as part of the Matt Duchene deal, who drafted defenceman Bowen Byram. The Senators have taken Brady Tkachuk (fourth overall, 2018), Jacob Bernard-Docker (26th overall, 2018), Lassi Thomson (19th overall, 2019), Tim Stützle (third overall, 2020), Jake Sanderson (fifth overall, 2020), and Ridly Greig (28th overall, 2020) in the first round during that span.
The 2021 draft will mark the first time in franchise history that the Senators pick 10th overall.
While the 10th spot may feel comparatively meagre when contrasted with 2020’s embarrassment of riches, this year’s draft will still yield myriad opportunities for general manager Pierre Dorion and lead scout Trent Mann to improve the team. Names like Chaz Lucius, and Fabian Lysell will likely be available, allowing the Senators to add more skill to their forward group.
There is also the possibility that Ottawa will look to bolster their lineup in the immediate term by trading the pick for a roster player. Eugene Melnyk recently made it known in no uncertain terms that the Senators are looking to add a top six centre, as well as high-end defenceman. Given their wealth of picks and prospects, it could make sense to move the 10th selection and continue the team’s rise to contention by opting for immediate reinforcements.
Ultimately, barring a disaster of a trade (touch wood), the Senators are in excellent shape to continue on their upward trajectory. The 10th overall selection will provide access to a host of talented players, or it could stand to see Dorion move up or down in the order. Maybe Ottawa won’t make their first ever 10th overall selection, and swap the pick for a player instead. Time will tell, but any of these scenarios present a glorious opportunity for the Senators to become a better hockey team.
What are your thoughts on the Senators’ draft positioning, and the lottery as a whole? Let us know in the comments section.