–Bryan Murray talked about potentially making a trade to move up in the draft:
I will call a number more [of GMs] and see if anybody wants to move. There are certain reasons to move fairly high and if you don’t do that, then maybe we’re OK where we are. I have talked and nobody has really gotten back to me. I don’t suspect that anybody will be willing to move down, but you never know. We might have an asset that would address a need. Where we are right now (at No. 17) I don’t think we’ll get the Top 6 guy, but maybe that’s a possibility if we’re patient enough in three or four years. We might be able to get a better player if we want to move up, but you have to be willing to pay a price for that as well.
I don’t think this approach is anything different from Murray’s norm–he’s kicking the tires to see what shakes out, but as he admits it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to move up. The other thing I’d take from his comments is that he doesn’t see the offensive depth at forward in the short term among the prospects the Sens have now.
–Ryan Classic grades the Sens defensemen (I’ve skipped the departed Sergei Gonchar and Mike Lundin): Marc Methot (A), Erik Karlsson (A-), Patrick Wiercioch (B), Chris Phillips (B), Andre Benoit (B-), Eric Gryba (C+), and Jared Cowen (C). There’s some variance from my own grades, but my only real problem with his assessment is Phillips, who by Ryan’s own standards was as good as Gonchar this season (which makes no sense at all).
-Former Sen and Jeremy Milks/Don Brennan favourite Zenon Konopka may be on his way out of Minnesota as the Wild attempt to move money to be cap compliant for next season. The gritty center produced zero points in 39 regular season and playoff games.
–Hockey’s Future has posted its mock draft for the NHL entry draft (with their first pick apparently off-target already after Joe Sakic said he’s leaning towards not picking Seth Jones) and have Sens selecting Chris Bigras with the 17th overall pick, saying:
Ideally, the Senators want someone who can play both ends well, as current defensive prospects Cody Ceci and Patrick Wiercioch are considered more offensive-minded defensemen. Mirco Mueller, Shea Theodore and Bigras all improved their draft stock, but Bigras has the better two-way game and plays close by in Owen Sound. If there is a forward with good offensive upside that is available with the 17th pick – perhaps Andre Burakowsky, whose father played for the Senators in the 1990’s – then Ottawa may take him. But with a wide cast of forward prospects breaking through this season and in the near future, the more pressing need is defense.
A couple of notes: this has Bigras taken well ahead of every draft resource I’ve seen (the closest is Hockey Prospects who have him at #26), secondly, the Sens drafting philosophy is to take the best player available, which makes HF’s notion of need questionable.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)