On Wednesday night, the NHL Draft Lottery revealed that the Ottawa Senators are going to be picking 10th in the 2021 Draft. That’s where they were expected to pick, despite the slim chances they would win 1st or 2nd. Now that we know where they are picking, we can begin to look at realistic options for the team.
The thing is, there is already talk about other options for Ottawa besides making a selection. So my question today is: what should the Senators do with the 10th overall pick?
Trade the pick for an established player
This option has been discussed the most, as some are ready for the Senators to make a push to becoming a playoff team. It’s unclear what the actual options here would be, but suffice it to say, it would be for a very good player as a top-6 centre or top-4 defenseman. Perhaps they would entertain the idea of adding an additional prospect or two to get an even better player, but that might be too rich for some fans. Some names who may or may not be realistic (and may or may not be worth trading for) include Seth Jones, Sean Monahan, Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, Matt Dumba, etc.
All of those players deserve their own articles in regards to trade rumours, but the point of this option is that the Senators would be using the 10th overall pick in some form to bolster the lineup.
The 2021 Draft is a weird one. The Senators have sort of taken that approach because despite having two 2nd round picks, they only have 6 picks overall, and preferred acquiring 2022 picks instead. There isn’t a clear delineation between tiers around where they’re picking, and perhaps moving down to 15-20 wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Plus, they could get an extra 2nd round pick or even a late first for their troubles.
Sometimes quantity can be better.
Ottawa isn’t afraid to trade up, even in the first round. They did that with Logan Brown, Matt Puempel, and Erik Karlsson, so it’s always a possibility. It’s extremely rare for teams in the top-10 to move down though, so it would be challenging. However, if there is someone that they desperately want, it could be worth it. Considering how close all of the top prospects appear to be, this wouldn’t be my top choice, but it’d be a fascinating one.
Select a Centre
For the purposes of this exercise, let’s assume that all of the skaters around this spot are essentially the same in terms of value. Because yes, you should always take the best player available. But “BPA” is so subjective because of how lists will vary from team to team. So if all of them were the same, would you take the centre? This would be someone like Kent Johnson, William Eklund, Chaz Lucius, Mason McTavish, or Cole Sillinger if they are available.
Ottawa has Josh Norris and Shane Pinto as future top-6 players, but they could really use a legitimate first-line centre.
Select a Right Winger
For me, right-wing is one of the biggest potential areas for improvement. They have very solid players in Drake Batherson and Connor Brown, but I’m not sure either of them can provide game-changing talent that elite teams have. Drafting Dylan Guenther or Fabian Lysell might fix that.
Select a Right-Shot Defenseman
Another area of need (spoiler: the rebuild isn’t quite over yet) is on the right side for defense. Artem Zub and Jacob Bernard-Docker are nice pieces, plus Lassi Thomson and Maxence Guénette have a chance, but they could use a potential first pairing player as well. Brandt Clarke is essentially the only option here unless they want to go off the board with Corson Ceulemans.
Select a Goalie
Ottawa already has a ton of goalie prospects, but none of them has ever had tons of pedigree. Taking Jesper Wallstedt would theoretically solve their goaltending issues, although he’d still be a few seasons away, plus it is a lot riskier taking goalies so high. It could be enticing having more of a sure thing in the crease though.
Select a Left Winger
If you are selecting this option, it is probably more to do with the specific players who can play left wing. The Senators have Tim Stüztle (unless he moves to centre), Brady Tkachuk, and Alex Formenton on the left side, so they seem quite set. However, perhaps someone like Matt Coronato, Zachary L’Heureux, Cole Sillinger (if he plays wing), and Willam Eklund (if he plays wing) are at the top of your list and you wouldn’t want to pass up on one of them. Left wing is quite deep, but you can never have too much depth.
Select a Left-Shot Defenseman
This is probably the deepest position for the Senators. With Thomas Chabot, Jake Sanderson, Erik Brännström, and Victor Mete, it’s hard to see the need for another left-shot defenseman. However, Chabot is the only true guarantee, and you can easily move players around if need be. There are some very good players like Luke Hughes, Simon Edvinsson, and Carson Lambos, and if any of them are available (especially the first two), it’s not a bad thing to select the most talented player.
To reiterate, I’m not looking for any “just take the best player available” responses, because that’s pretty much a given. But think about what position you would like to see drafted the most or even if the team should keep the pick at all.
So the final question is what would you like the Senators to do this draft?
What should the Senators do with the 10th overall pick?
This poll is closed
Trade it for an established player
Select a centre
Select a right winger
Select a right-shot defenseman
Select a goalie
Select a left winger
Select a left-shot defenseman