With the draft in the books it’s time to take a look at how the Ottawa Senators did. Just like the previous three drafts the Sens were unable to land a 2nd round pick. The normal Murray draft trends continued, as they selected a local kid, a player from the QMJHL (the same as the local in this instance), picked from the WHL, Sweden, US leagues (NCAA and EJHL this year), and picked a player completely off the map (two this time). I’ve compiled all the scouting reports I can find below. Here’s who was picked:
1-17 Curtis Lazar (CR/RW, 6’0, DOB 1995, Edmonton (WHL))
3-78 Marcus Hogberg (GL, 6’5, DOB 1994, Linkoping (SuperElit))
4-102 Tobias Lindberg (RW, 6’2, DOB 1995, Djurgarden (SuperElit))
4-108 Ben Harpur (DR, 6’6, DOB 1995, Guelph (OHL))
5-138 Vincent Dunn (CL, 5’11, DOB 1995, Val-d’Or (QMJHL))
6-161 Chris Leblanc (RW, 6’3, DOB 1993, South Shore (EJHL))
6-168 Quentin Shore (CR, 6’2, DOB 1994, Denver (NCAA))
A sum total of five forwards, one defensemen, and one goalie. Here are the majority of the scouting reports for each player (acronyms: ISS (International Scouting Service), RLR (Red Line Report), FC (Future Considerations), HP (Hockey Prospects), McK (Mckeen’s), THN (The Hockey News), CS (Central Scouting), CP (Corey Pronman), and TSN)–I didn’t including THN or TSN’s short blurbs, just their rankings.
Curtis Lazar (WHL 72-38-23-61)
Draft rankings: THN 9, ISS/McK 12, FC 17, TSN 18, CS 20, HP 21, RLR 22, CP 29
Tim Murray: thought getting him at 17 was a steel and see’s him as a future leader (for those who remember his comments prior to the draft it sounds like they had him ranked 13-14).
ISS: lists his shot as excellent, his skating, puck skills, offensive/defensive play, competitiveness, and hockey sense as very good, his physical play as good and his size/strength as average. His strengths are his laser release on his shot, his work ethic, and his ability to rise to the occasion; his weaknesses are his strength and offensive consistency. He’s a very good two-way player with good fire in his game and good offensive capabilities. His potential is as a 2nd/3rd line player with PP potential, could evolve into top line sniper. They compare his style to Dustin Brown. Finally they write: 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. The big knock so far has been in high exposure events (such as CHL TP game and Canada U18 evaluation camp) he has looked very average.
FC: Strengths: Lazar is a defensively strong forward with good speed and goal scoring ability. He possesses good quickness out the gate, has good mobility and turning ability, even at top speed. He’s a dynamic skater who has powerful legs and pretty solid acceleration. Lazar uses a wide balanced stance when protecting the puck and is hard to knock off stride and while he won’t blow the doors off of anyone, is tough to knock off the puck. He gets himself in good position to shoot, finding holes offensively, where he can unleash both a hard wrist or slap shot. He also has a very quick backhand in his shooting arsenal as well as a deadly one-timer. Is a killer from the slot-in with his great release and knows when, where and how to put pucks on net. Lazar isn’t afraid to deke to finish off plays from in close, either. He’s not just a shooter as his puck distribution and vision are superb and makes some excellent passes including quick cross-crease dishes on the backhand in tight to the net, multi-zone stretch passes from his own zone and soft saucer passes to streaking linemates. His passes have good velocity and are usually right on the tape. While he does have pretty good hands, he is not a real flashy puck dangling forward who will try to go end-to-end much if at all. He’s gritty, plays very physical when the situation calls for it and is versatile in that he can play on a skilled line as well as on a line with two very big and physical players. He bangs and crashes regularly along the walls, takes hits to make plays and shows the leadership and smarts that is rare for a player this age. He’s a true hockey player and a leader. He’ll be a glue guy in the NHL and a good guy in the room as a heart and soul player. He shows great inner drive, is a hard worker and displays great character, serving as an assistant captain as a 17-year-old on a veteran team. He will one day do that at the NHL level. Lazar plays with high energy and good intensity each and every shift. He has his head on a swivel each and every shift and his positioning in his own zone and in the neutral zone is fantastic. He is very good at reading the play and taking away lanes with his body and stick. Lazar will be one of the safest bets to make the Show out of this draft class as he is almost a guarantee to make an impression in one way or another. Weaknesses: Lazar is a total defensive first player who does not take risks in the name of offense or to generating a scoring chance. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, it does reflect in his offensive numbers in junior and his perceived NHL offensive upside. He has not really shown much in the way of offensive creativity but instead just taking what he is given to produce opportunities. Is he a very good third line shutdown centre who can play your PK as well as add a little offense to your team or is he a great twoway second line center who can do it all and boost his offensive contributions? Scout’s quote: “Some label Lazar as a great second or third liner, which tends to come with a negative stigma when people think first round talent. But, if by second or third liner, you mean a guy that can score 20-plus goals consistently, be a devastating weapon on the forecheck, and play well in all areas of the ice? Sure, I’ll take him in the first round any day of the week.” NHL Potential: Top Nine Two-Way Forward.
HP: Lazar entered this season with a lot of hype surrounding his game. His play without the puck was very impressive for such a young player, while his offensive game was starting to improve. He has not been able to put up the offensive numbers that usually garner the amount of attention that he is getting now, but there is certainly potential in his game to be an effective 2 way forward in the NHL one day. The best attribute of Lazar’s game is his play without the puck. He is always in such good position in his own end, and is very strong along the boards. He is always out on the ice in crucial defensive situations, and will positively impact the game in some way. He fearlessly blocks shots to help his team win games, and seems to be able to consistently be in the shooting lane. His coverage down low is very good, and displays good anticipation to be able to knock away passes and tie up opponents. Offensively, Lazar has a very impressive wrist shot. He has a nice quick release off the rush in speed. He is not much of a playmaker, and most of his offensive contribution will come in the form of goals and scoring chances. He is able to get into good position in dangerous scoring areas, and make himself available for passes. Lazar has a bit of work to do with his hands around the net, as he could further develop his scoring touch. He has also shown that he is a streaky scorer. He may go a long stretch of not picking up any point, then go on a long streak where he seems to score whenever he is around the net. Lazar will have to be able to consistently put up points to be a more dangerous player as a pro. Lazar is by no means a slow player, but he does have some work to do in terms of his acceleration. It takes him a bit longer to reach his good top end speed, and it inhibits him from being a more dangerous player than he could be. Any team that is looking for a heart and soul, future captain will not have to look further than Curtis Lazar. He may not put up more than 50 points a year in his prime, but he is able to impact the game in more ways than just offensively. He plays the game with such a passion, that it will be contagious within the dressing room. If he can continue to play a 200 ft game while improving his strength and speed and chip in offensively, he will put up a long NHL career.
McK: a responsible and diligent two-way forward .. makes valuable contributions with or without the puck – exploiting sharp hockey sense and good awareness .. powerful, balanced skater when in flight, however, could benefit from additional explosiveness .. hands are more quick and strong rather than finely skilled .. packs a hard shot whose release is both fast and fluid .. dangerous when trailing the rush with speed and firing a one-timer full bore from the slot .. steadily maturing and progressing as a playmaker .. now assesses options before joining the fray and will re-direct pucks to teammates instead of taking low-percentage shots .. should improve his finesse skills and puckhandling in traffic .. can move the puck however as he possesses adept one-touch skills and an ability to execute at a feverish tempo .. can get through defenses with his tenacity – getting key touches on the puck and overwhelming defenders with his speed and persistence .. displays a defensive conscience and positional maturity that belies his age .. neither big nor overtly mean, yet fiercely competitive with deceiving toughness .. continuously engaged both mentally and physically .. comes back deep in strong support positions – and will deliver stiff hits throughout his own zone .. functions most effectively in more of a secondary role – and not front-and-center in the attack.
CP: 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. He takes checks very well, knows how to position himself in his own end, and does not tend to hurt his own team. Similar to the prospects preceding him on this list, there is debate over his offensive ability. I see him as a player with above-average offensive skill, but one scout I talked to said that he is shy in displaying offensive creativity, and that he tends to rely on safe plays. He has solid hands, good instincts, and a very good shot, but his offensive progression will determine what kind of NHL player will be.
Marcus Hogberg (SuperElit 2.41 .917)
Draft rankings: CS 4, McK 71, TSN honourable mention, FC 153, RLR 159, CP 196
Tim Murray: needs coaching, to get stronger, and to mature; believed he was the best goalie in Sweden.
Pierre Dorion: raw but athletic and should be the starting goaltender in the Allsvenskan next season.
FC: Hogberg is a big goaltender who has the size and coverage that NHL teams covet. He will need to improve his lateral quickness as well as his consistency. He does show good upside, but is a project prospect that will need considerable time to round into his game. McK: big, poised goalie with sound technical abilities, plus sharp reflexes .. determined and competitive – yet plays calm and controlled – does not force plays and overcommit .. reads and anticipates the play well .. adopts a progressive Swedish butterfly style .. a massive frame allows him to stay deeper and display a wider stance in order to bait shooters to aim low .. will challenge shooters though, and make saves at the top of his crease depending on the situation – his depth being referred to as ‘non static’.. uses his size to his advantage – stays tall in the butterfly with a straight back in order to optimize net coverage .. proficient at keeping himself square to the puckcarrier .. agile and balanced on his feet – both in stance and moving sideways .. smooth and proficient sliding laterally – or when recovering to skates – maintains a strong seal to the ice .. must guard against over-sliding or excess movements in the down position, which can expose unnecessary space over the shoulders .. shades of Nashville’s Pekka Rinne – in the ‘European’ mold.
Tobias Lindberg (SuperElit 43-9-13-22)
Draft rankings: CS 99
Tim Murray: doesn’t know much about it (hit or miss pick), but the European scouts like his potential.
Pierre Dorion: big winger who has speed and skill; a good project.
Vaclav Burda: He’s a kid who was not selected or ranked very high — he was pretty low — but we feel pretty good about his potential, like Colin Greening in our organization. He’s a big guy who can skate, he drives the net, he’s not high end intelligent with the puck but he drives the net with speed and strength and we see these tools that down the road he could play on the big team. He has already played a few games for the big Djurgarden team which is the second highest Swedish league — the Allsvenskan, but mostly he played in the junior league. Next year he’ll be playing either with the men’s team or a junior team. He’s not (physically) mature, he’s got lots of room to build up and we believe that big body might be hard to play against some day.
Ben Harpur (OHL 67-3-12-15)
Draft rankings: ISS 84, CS 101, FC 111, HP 119, CP 129, RLR 136
Tim Murray: leery on picking defensemen after the second round, but scouts believe he’s a late bloomer.
Pierre Dorion: improved a lot through the second half.
ISS: his size/strength is excellent, puck skills and shot good, while his skating and hockey sense are average. They add: He is clearly a stay-at-home defenseman Harpur’s size is what first jumps out in his game; he shows incredible raw potential with his continually growing frame. Defensively he possesses an active stick and does well containing the opposition low in his zone. He makes a good first pass to exit the defensive zone and is a decent skater given his size. Definitely needs to get more physical given his size, gives up the offensive zone blueline too quickly and his gap was too much which means he isn’t a confident defenseman right now.
FC [consistently misspelled his name as “Harper”]: Harpur is a gangly shutdown defenseman who skates well for a big man. His stride is long and smooth and his lateral mobility is impressive. His transitions are fluid and he does not lose momentum. He needs to improve on his first step as he develops. His hands are soft and he is confident when he has the puck. He is not overly creative with the puck, but he makes strong consistent plays when he has the puck. He consistently makes crisp tape-to-tape passes breakout passes, which lead to quick transition hockey for his team. He has great vision, and makes high percentage passes rarely giving the puck away. He poses a heavy shot from the point. He is good at finding shooting lanes to get pucks to the net, leading to rebound chances for his teammates. He plays a very physical in your face style of hockey. He finished his checks with enthusiasm, without taking himself out of position, and plays the body hard in his own zone. Harpur plays hard in the corners, and makes life miserable for opposing forwards. He shows a high hockey IQ and makes smart decisions. His defensive game is where he really excels on the ice. He is hard to beat one-on-one, and he drives opposing forwards wide never giving them an easy path to the net. His gap control in off the charts, as he surprises opposing forwards who thing they have time. His anticipation in his own end is good. NHL Potential: Bottom-pairing defensive defenseman.
HP: Ben was selected in the 3rd round of the 2011 OHL Priority Selection Draft by the Guelph Storm out of the Niagara Falls Canucks Minor Midget program. Ben made the Storm as a 16 year old but received limited action due to the depth on the Storm blueline. Harpur had a steady sophomore season for the Storm. He is a big bodied presence on the blue line and is good at using his size to lean on smaller forwards and clear out the front of the net. He needs to work at bringing a consistent physical presence to his game and finish more checks when given the opportunity. He is a good skater despite being such a big guy and has adequate speed to jump into the offensive rush when available. However, he has struggled in one on one situations at times due to a late pivot. He is good at using his long stick to keep opponents to the outside and is effective at getting into passing lanes and intercepting passes. Harpur is sometimes caught standing around in the defensive zone and needs to consistently pressure opposing forwards rather than let the play come to him. He takes good angles when he does pressure forwards and is good at keeping his body to the net so that driving lanes are kept to a minimum. He occasionally steps up and effectively holds the offensive blue line strong but is sometimes slow transitioning from forwards to backwards and would benefit from improved foot speed. Harpur is good at getting his shots on net through traffic but needs to work at walking the line to create better shooting lanes. Ben shows flashes of potential but also needs to further improve and become more comfortable in his size. He will need to become a better skater and play a more tenacious game at his size. He does a variety of things well but nothing that stands out as exceptional. Harpur is a player we see going outside the first few rounds and selected to become a reliable defensive defenseman at the next level. One that doesn’t play huge minutes but can be relied upon in his own end, and to hopefully play a penalty killing role as well.
Vincent Dunn (QMJHL 53-25-27-52)
Draft rankings: THN 87, HP/CP 94, FC 96, McK honourable mention, ISS 122, RLR 130
Tim Murray: likes that he’ll be playing for Gatineau where it’s easy to keep an eye on him and where he has a good coach.
Pierre Dorion: agitator, good skill, needs to work on his skating.
ISS: his skating and hockey sense are very good, his puck skills and shot are good, while his size/strength is average. They write: Dunn has exploded out of the gates offensively for the Val d’Or Foreurs and has eclipsed his 13 points last year with 25 goals and 27 assists in just 53 games played. Dunn is a blue collar type, defensive forward and agitator. He works hard, has a good forecheck, finishes checks, and is relentless in all three zones. He is never going to be a big offensive contributor at the next level, but he does projects as very good bottom six utility/role player.
FC: Dunn is a shift disturber who has some underrated offensive skill. He moves well with good quickness but just average straight-line speed. He shows decent balance and agility but could use overall improvement to his skating ability. He is reliable in all zones and thinks the game well. He needs to be more consistent shift-to-shift and use his shot more often. His shot has some pop to it but he needs to get it off his stick quicker as it has a painfully slow release. He makes his biggest impact offensively around the crease looking for rebounds and garbage goals. He has limited vision and puck distribution skills. Dunn works the boards well as he has a stocky strength to him, gets position on his opponent, uses leverage and strength to come out with the puck on his stick. He’s often in the right position on the ice to breakup opponents attack by getting himself into passing lanes, and is strong defensively despite his small stature. He’s willing to drop down in front of a point shot. He’s a hard hitter and relentless forechecker who is not afraid to get gritty or even dirty in an attempt to draw penalties. He’s also ready to drop the gloves to back up his game but is not a very strong fighter. Has a Steve Ott kind of two-way in-your-face type of presence. NHL Potential: top-nine center.
HP: Vincent Dunn came into the QMJHL at 16 years old in 2011-2012 and made a name for himself by playing a rarely seen aggressive and intense game, never backing down from anybody. In fact, in his first two season, Dunn has accumulated close to 200 penalty minutes while being a pretty good hockey player. Dunn displays a great level of energy when he is on the ice which makes him very noticeable, rarely taking a shift off. He will try to get under the skin of his opponents, bantering after whistles, starting scrums, giving a little more on the body check and just knocking them off their game. Although he is not the biggest player at 5’11”, Dunn will rarely refuse a fight and he is a proven fighter in that realm. He is a player you don’t like to come up against because of his level of competitiveness and associated intensity will expose a soft player. He doesn’t necessary lay out the big hit often, but will be physical on the forecheck with high energy. He has an above-average top speed and great power in his first few strides to quickly reach max speed. He is not an East-West player by any means, but has quick feet and will use them to gain time and space laterally. He has quick hands and more than a decent skill set that he uses well in tight spaces to get pucks around the net to generate a scoring chance or simply keep the puck in battles. A strong player, Dunn has good puck protection and his tenacity makes him tough to knock off the puck. He will score goals around the net, jumping on rebounds but he also scores some solid goals off the rush. His offensive vision is impressive, finding teammates quickly and executing skilled setups on the rush. He is also effective when delaying the play because of those good passing skills. Defensively, Dunn has never stopped progressing, working hard and supporting his defensemen well. He needs to play a better positional game as he tends to be a little too aggressive at times. Dunn can overreact and be undisciplined also, he needs to have control of his temper. His hits can be dangerous at times. Dunn doesn’t possess a big frame or high end offensive potential for the next level, but his intensity and character mixed with his above-average abilities make him a very interesting pick come draft day.
McK: Surprised with a 25-goal breakout sophomore outburst, although his play regressed over the back half .. hurt the team with costly, undisciplined penalties in the playoffs – and also damaged his stock with a two-game suspension in November for inappropriate comments – deemed by the ref as ‘racial taunts, gestures and slurs’ .. skilled undersized agitator .. plays a pugilistic style aimed at taking opponents off their game .. willing combatant – took six major penalties last season .. aggressive forechecker – finishes checks assertively despite a smaller stature .. packs a good accurate wristshot which he can unload at full flight .. choppy skater – propelled by a short compact stride and busy feet .. sluggish in startup and acceleration – misses a separation gear .. does get the most out of his speed once in motion – pumping his feet frantically to generate power .. agility and balance need improvement .. loses momentum in turns – not that stable on crossovers – which have a running quality .. skilled stickhandler and passer – strong on the puck .. does the little things – like going hard to the net and following up rebounds .. takes hits to make plays and competes defensively – albeit can be guilty of soft checking postures .. also struggles to keep his emotions in check which translates into bad penalties.
CP: Dunn had a productive season from a statistical standpoint, although it must be noted that he played on a loaded offensive squad in Val-d’Or. He is a multi-dimensional player, and he can play center or wing effectively. He also has defensive value, and although he is a little small, he will show a good physical game, with offensive abilities. Dunn has above-average hands, as well as a good offensive hockey sense. He tends to set up his teammates well. He is a solid skater as well. He may not have a powerful stride, but he does have a good first few steps, and he moves his feet quickly. Dunn has a lot of energy to his game. He will drive the net, make quick decisions, and engage when he needs to. Despite these positive qualities, it is questionable what his role projects to be in the NHL. His offensive skill is not overwhelming enough to project as a scorer, and due to his size, he will carry questions about his defensive projection. Despite this, he possesses good qualities, and if his development goes well, he will provide value for an NHL team.
Chris Leblanc (EJHL 44-13-20-33)
Draft rankings: unranked
Tim Murray: late bloomer they think they can develop. Committed to Merrimack (NCAA)
Pierre Dorion: big two-way player.
Quentin Shore (NCAA 39-10-9-19)
Draft rankings: CP 179
Pierre Dorion: smart hockey player, competes, two-way; a gamble.
Here’s the ISS scouting report from last year (2012 draft): A very impressive two-way performance during the U18s was just icing on the cake, Shore has consistently impressed ISS scouts during the season and often in a different manner each game. He has a very well rounded skill set that allows him to fit any mould required of him. His faceoff skills and defensive presence were integral in USA’s run for the Gold during the U18 tournament. More goal scorer than playmaker, decent hands and quick release. A very effective shot-blocker on the PK unit that is adept at getting in the shooting lanes and limiting rebounds. Still working on game to game consistency and is an unpolished long-term project.
Here’s McK’s from last year: Quentin plays a very similar game to his brothers, as he is a smart player who makes valuable plays that help out in all three zones. His hockey sense and shot are arguably his best assets, as his one-timer explodes off his stick and his keen hockey sense allows him to stay in close proximity of the puck. He has the innate ability to turn his body off the puck to make a defenseman go the other way and then executes subtle one-touch passes that help in the transition. Shore needs to work on his skating since he offers little to no explosive power in his stride. He’s a versatile player who meshes well with any set of linemates due to his work ethic and ability to process the game. He is a highly coachable player who is loaded with character and has healthy bloodlines.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)