There are few feelings more maddening than watching the Senators at the NHL Draft. No matter how much time we all spend imagining the best picks at different slots, they usually seem to go another way. Why then should we spend any time thinking about who the Sens should pick, when they are just going to subvert our expectations on draft day? Because it's fun, and if I'm right even once, I will claim to be some sort of prescient witch.
Today, I would like to talk about Lucas Edmonds, and for both of the readers who will come across this, I will keep my case for the Sens picking him as brief as I can. Edmonds is a bit a weird prospect, as he's been passed over three times in the draft already after playing primarily in Sweden, and he had his rookie season in the OHL this year as a 20-year-old. As a rookie, he led the Kingston Frontenacs in points (113) and assists (79), with his points per game coming it at 1.66, ahead of teammate and projected first overall pick Shane Wright's pace of 1.49 points per game.
Now the obvious knock on Edmonds is that he is a lot closer to being a finished product than a lot of the guys he was playing against in the OHL. This would be worrying for me, if you were hoping he'd be a star, but I'd be more comfortable projecting him to be a Connor Brown type player. Both had similar production in their final OHL seasons, with Brown scoring slightly more with a much better linemate (some kid named McDavid). They're similar sizes, have a similar build, with the main difference being Brown is more of a scorer (cue the breakaway jokes) and Edmonds is more of a playmaker.
Should we spend 7th overall on this potential Connor Brown in the making? Absolutely not. As he is an overage player, Edmonds is being projected to go somewhere in the late third to fourth round, and I think that's where the Sens should target him. If they can grab him with the Bruins 3rd rounder (87th overall) or their own 4th (104th overall) that would be fantastic. Since I'm a fan of Edmonds, I'm comfortable with them even grabbing him at the top of the 3rd with their own pick (72nd overall), but that would be a touch early based on his current projections.
In conclusion, we have a high-performing over-ager who has been overlooked for years because he wasn't in the CHL. He's shown he can produce at a high level in the OHL and will likely need a year or two in the AHL before he's ready to play at the highest level. His one year of OHL production is similar to the last year of Connor Brown's OHL career, albeit with a much worse projected first-overall pick as his centre. If the Sens can snag him in the 3rd or the 4th, we may just have a low-cost bottom six option to give us depth scoring when we're in our promised contention window.