While all eyes are turned on young Swedish sensation Rasmus Dahlin as the NHL Entry Draft draws near, many others wonder what the Ottawa Senators will do ahead of the yearly event. NHL insider Pierre LeBrun reports that next month’s NHL Draft Lottery could affect Senators general manager Pierre Dorion’s decision regarding his 2018 first-round pick.
Seeing that the Sens' pick will be a top-10 selection, it’s assumed that Ottawa could retain it and instead give the Colorado Avalanche their 2019 first-round pick as part of the terms of the Matt Duchene trade earlier this season. When Duchene was acquired in the three-team trade, the Senators could have a choice of which draft between this summer's and next's, while the move also involved Ottawa dealing forward Kyle Turris to the Nashville Predators.
That would be a great mistake!
Many seemed unaware that the Senators had the option of retaining their first-round pick in this year’s draft and instead send the Avs their 2019 selection. It will definitely be interesting to see what the Senators do with this pick. Here is what LeBrun had to say during a segment on Insider Trading on TSN last night:
"First of all, the draft lottery next month will have a huge bearing on how [Ottawa Senators’ general manager Pierre Dorion’s decision on 2018 first-round pick] plays out because where it gets interesting for the Senators, a lot of people assume, well, if it’s going to be a top-10 pick, which it will because the Senators currently have the third-worst record in the National Hockey League, the Senators will go ahead and use that pick this year and give Colorado the pick in 2019. Not so fast. What if the lottery ball puts them at seven or eight, nine, 10? I think the decision gets a little more interesting because, again, next year’s pick is not lottery protected. Are you giving away, potentially, the Jack Hughes, number one overall, pick if in your rebuild, which the Senators have announced they’re rebuilding, you’d have another season that’s a struggle next year. So, there’s a couple factors here like Erik Karlsson. If you sign him and he’s a part of the team moving forward and then maybe your bounce back is better and you’re not worried about a lottery pick next year, but if you’re trading Erik Karlsson this off-season, then this is obviously a massive rebuild and maybe you have to protect next year’s pick. I’ve talked to a couple GMs today and they said it’s around seven, eight, nine [overall in the draft] that they’d start to consider giving that pick to Colorado and protect next year’s pick."
So as you get from LeBrun's explanations; this year’s pick is lottery-protected but next year’s isn’t.
If this year’s pick falls between seventh and 10th overall, LeBrun speculates the Sens could part with that one, rather than give up next year’s and run the risk of losing a potential first-overall selection, especially if the intent is to rebuild by trading Erik Karlsson this summer.
Do you agree with their approach? This sounds like a risky one if they don't give up this year's pick...