Thanks to a series of trades that acquired Bobby Ryan, Matt Kassian, and Ales Hemsky, the 2014 Ottawa Senators' draft class is a bit smaller than usual. There were rumours flying around on Friday about the Senators wanting to move into the first round via trade, but nothing came to fruition.
2nd Round, 40th Overall - Andreas Englund
The Sens kept with their recent trend of drafting Swedish talent by selecting Andreas Englund with their first pick in the draft. The physical defensive defenseman will attend the Sens development camp before returning to play his next year in Djurgarden. Depending on how he develops, Englund could be the shutdown defenceman the Senators have been looking for.
Senators assistant GM, Pierre Dorion, was ranting and raving about the pick:
"Well, we're extremely happy to draft a guy like Andreas. For us he's someone we feel that's going to play in our top-four down the road. He's a defensive defenceman, he's hard, he's character, he matches up, he's huge, he plays big. He's just a guy that plays a North American type of game. We're just excited to have him and bring in a guy like that who's big, who skates, who brings all those attributes to the ice."
Last Word on Sports has the following to say about him:
"He clears the front of the net, and is always battling for the puck in the corner. Englund is very solid defensively. He has a good active stick, cuts down passing lanes and is willing to block shots. ... In terms of style, Englund resembles Anton Volchenkov of the New Jersey Devils, especially when Volchenkov was in his prime. He isn’t going to get a lot of style points, but his game is simple and effective. If he reaches his potential, he can be a staunch shut-down defender in the NHL."
3rd Round, 70th Overall - Miles Gendron
Miles Gendron just turned 18 on Saturday, and the Senators gave him a birthday that he won't soon forget. Gendron, the 6'2" 181 lbs winger-turned-defenceman, played for The River School coached by former Senator Shawn McEachern. He is going to play next year for Penticton in the BCHL before heading to the University of Connecticut in the following year.
The Hockey Writers had the following to say about him:
"Gendron has great vision and hockey IQ. He outsmarts a lot of his opponents and carries the puck well up the ice. He’s also fast skater that does his best to get out of his own zone as quickly as possible. The switch to defense allowed him to develop both sides of his game. While he can control the powerplay on the point, he also has great defensive awareness and doesn’t get caught out of position. A sound two-way defenseman, it’s a matter of taking the time to grow, develop, and mature for Gendron in the BCHL and then the NCAA."
4th Round, 100th Overall - Shane Eiserman
The big 6'2" 200 lbs left winger from the Dubuque Fighting Saints was drafted 100th overall by the Ottawa Senators. The Massachusetts native won't be making an impact at the AHL/NHL level just yet, as he is already committed to the University of New Hampshire for next year. Eiserman was ranked 45th among North American skaters, and it seems like there could be some value in being able to pick him up that late.
Eiserman describes himself as:
"Definitely a power forward. Someone who takes a lot of pucks hard to the net. I try to model my game after a Jordan Staal-ish type of player. It was probably freshman year that I learned to use my size and strength."
Via Hockey's Future:
"Eiserman left the NTDP to skate for the USHL's Dubuque Fighting Saints and represented the USA in the 2013 U19 World Junior A Challenge. In his first 30 games with Dubuque he was +15 — scoring 9 goals with 14 assists— and was second on the Fighting Saints with 61 penalty minutes. In four games at the WJAC he scored 2 goals with 2 assists. ... Eiserman is the prototypical "hard to play against" power forward who uses his size and strength to create chances and has the skating ability to be effective on both ends of the ice. Eiserman relishes playing in tight spaces and along the boards and has a skill component to his game."
7th Round, 189th Overall - Kelly Summers
The Senators' scouts must have seen something they really liked in Summers as they had to trade away their 2015 6th round pick to the Winnipeg Jets in order to select him. No way would the Senators let a draft year go by without adding a gifted local product to the prospect pool. Summers, from the Carleton Place Canadians, was ranked 73rd among North American skaters heading into the draft. The 6'2" 192lbs offensive defenceman will be heading to Clarkson University in the fall.
From his bio:
"[He has] a combination of things that makes a player stand out, a vision on the ice, that is inbred not taught, a confidence so natural, to the average person it would seem that the player is not even trying. Kelly Summers makes plays on a regular basis that other players wouldn’t even dare try, fearful that they would make a mistake and pay for it once they returned to the bench, and Summers makes them as if he were walking to the front door to pick up the morning paper."
7th Round, 190th Overall - Francis Perron
With their final pick in this year's draft, the Senators selected 6'0" 165 lbs left winger Francis Perron. In his second year in the QMJHL with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, Perron put up 16 goals and 39 assists in 68 games. Ranked 70th among North American skaters, he describes himself as "a skilled forward. I would say my hockey sense is my main strength. I've always been known as an offensive player, on the PP and on the first two lines."
Impact on the Sens
As you would normally expect by not having a first round pick, the 2014 Senators' draft class all seem to be a few years away from having an impact at the NHL level. I am looking forward to seeing how these players develop and hope they will be pushing for NHL jobs in the near future.