The Ottawa Senators may not have been lucky - or successful for that matter - this season, but it finally looks like a bit of luck is on their side ahead of the National Hockey League Entry Draft and the always enticing trade market. The Pittsburgh Penguins elimination from the second round of the playoffs at the hands of the Washington Capitals on Monday night means their first-round pick, which we now know will be the 22nd overall, belongs to the Senators. With that confirmed and in mind, Senators general manager Pierre Dorion might be getting ready to do some damage on the trade market with his first round arsenal.
The Senators have two first round picks in this year's draft as the Penguins included their pick as part of their acquisition of center Derick Brassard before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. The Senators also own the fourth overall selection. Dorion could easily use his current draft situation to his advantage as the Sens are currently entering a rebuilding or a retooling mode. It all depends on what star defenseman and captain Erik Karlsson will do with the awaited contract extension that Ottawa can offer him starting on July 1st. However, landing a second first round selection gives the Senators the option of using it as trade bait to bring in an established young player and make an immediate impact on their roster.
The Senators are not the only team with two picks in the first round. Of the teams currently remaining in the playoffs, only the Washington Capitals still have possession of their first-round pick. The Vegas Golden Knights (Detroit), Tampa Bay Lightning (New York Rangers), Jets (St. Louis) and Predators (Chicago) all traded their top pick ahead of the trade deadline in February in monster trades.
The 2018 NHL Draft will take place June 22-23 in Dallas. The order through Monday night is as follows as reported by TSN on Monday night:
9. NY Rangers
11. NY Islanders
12. NY Islanders (from Calgary)
14. Philadelphia (from St. Louis)
17. New Jersey
18. Columbus Blue Jackets
20. Los Angeles
21. San Jose
22. Ottawa (from Pittsburgh)
26. NY Rangers (from Boston)
We will surely keep an eye on what happens next in the second round, and the Conference finals moving forward. However, the Sens are already ready for the draft and a significant trade they can make to improve their roster right away.