Recapping the Senators' 2013 Draft
What did the Senators do on Sunday?
17th overall - Curtis Lazar
With players like Anthony Mantha and Hunter Sinkaruk still on the board, the Senators opted for a safer player in Lazar, not unlike what they did in passing on Sean Couturier for Mika Zibanejad in 2011. Scouting reports on Lazar are dripping with praise for his intangibles:
"It’s been an up and down season for Lazar in terms of his prospect status. He can be simply dominant and the best player on the ice at times, but he can also fall into long lapses where the offensive potential is nowhere to be found. Even so, he is consistently an effective player, who plays with good determination and high skill. He can grind with players much larger than himself, has very good smooth hands and can shoot the lights out from almost anywhere on the ice. He’s not the biggest kid, but he plays without fear or trepidation."
– International Scouting Services 2013 Draft Guide
A top-10 selection before the season began, Lazar was fresh off a great playoff run with the WHL champion Oil Kings. But personal pressure loomed over the talented teen, who struggled out of the gate offensively. Luckily, he rallied with 14 goals and 23 points in his last 20 games. He also fared well in a fight against imposing Darnell Nurse at the CHL Top Prospects Game. ‘He grows on me every time I see him,’ said one scout. ‘I don’t think he’s a top-two-lines kind of player, but he’s a character guy. He’ll stand up for teammates and he’s as honest as they come. I don’t know how he has so many goals. Seems to be at the right place at the right time. Really safe bet to play.’
– The Hockey News Draft Guide 2013
Lazar is a well-rounded forward, with the benefit of having one of the smallest risk factors in this draft (in terms of probability of becoming an NHL player). He is an above-average skater who can flash plus ability in that area. He covers a lot of ice due to his tremendous work ethic, as he is always moving his feet. He can change gears quickly, and he picks up speed well. Despite being a tad undersized, he is a solid, physical player who is good on the forecheck. He is not afraid to drive the net, either. He is one of the best defensive forwards in this draft, and is very good in that area for a player his age.
Lazar sounds like the kind of heart-and-soul player that Sens fans tend to love. More importantly, he sounds like the kind of player head coach Paul MacLean loves. Remember, Guillaume Latendresse was benched in the playoffs over his so-called compete level. Lazar is all about compete level. He might not be the most skilled player the team could have chosen, but there's something to be said for a guy who fits a coach's system.
78th overall - Marcus Hogberg
He's a 6'3" Swedish goaltender. Get ready for endless Robin Lehner comparisons.
Here's Grant Sonier of ESPN on Hogberg:
Hogberg, who has elite size and a style that is suited for the NHL, needs to improve his quickness. However, he has a high compete level and covers the net like a pro. It's clear that he will need time to develop, but I think he will put in the work to give himself a chance to succeed in the NHL. (It is the one position where patience is a must.) In time, I get the impression that he will successfully make the NHL transition.
102nd overall - Tobias Lindberg
At 6'2" and 187 pounds, Lindberg is a versatile Swedish forward. Ottawa's had good success with Swedish forwards. Read a little more about Lindberg and see his stat lines here.
108th overall - Ben Harpur
6'5" and 210lbs. He's a bigger, meaner Eric Gryba. And Gryba drives around wearing camouflage. Also has the best scouting report ever from Red Line Report:
"Like Kate Upton; great body, limited between the ears."
138th overall - Vincent Dunn
Breaking the trend, Dunn is only 5'11" and 172lbs. He was the center feeding Detroit first-round pick Anthony Mantha. He was also suspended two games for an incident involving a racial slur.
Dunn will be playing for the Gatineau Olympiques next year, drawing comparisons to Jean-Gabriel Pageau, but scouting reports like this:
[...] distinguishing himself as a real sparkplug for the Foreurs this season as he is willing to get his nose dirty and also quite capable of aggravating opponents.
make him sound more like Cory Conacher to me.
161st overall - Chris Leblanc
Another big (6'3", 190lbs) forward, very little information is available on Leblanc. He'll be playing for Merrimac College next year. His career path looks like it will be similar to Colin Greening's. No word on his dance moves, though.
168th overall - Quentin Shore
An overager, and also 6'2", Shore is currently playing for the University of Denver. Another project player.
If the Senators were intending to find a player who'd make an immediate impact, they failed. No one in this draft class is ready to contribute anytime soon. That doesn't necessarily mean it was a poor draft class, though. The Senators added a ton of size and potential. It's extremely important to recognize that not having an immediate impact is not the same thing as having no impact. The team was able to take a long-term approach with this year's draft class specifically because they've done a good job of building the pipeline since 2007. There was no reason for the team to reach for players based on immediate need. Instead, development is this year's focus, and given how the team has done developing players so far, there's plenty of reason for optimism even without any flashy or recognizable names to show for today's efforts--that optimism will just take a little longer to bear fruit.