Here are my predictions for Ottawa’s selections–I made rough guesses in my overall look at the draft, but with that leg work completed I’ve had time to take a closer look at who the Sens will take. Ottawa is a difficult team to predict, regularly taking players who are off the radar (Emil Sandin in 2008, Brad Peltz in 2009, Marcus Sorensen in 2010, Jordan Fransoo in 2011, Tim Boyle in 2012, and so on). The best fans can do is look at player rankings and pay attention to what the organisation is saying and doing beforehand. This year the mantra of best-player-available has overwhelmed any notion of a positional preference (although they rarely pick goaltenders). Last year when I went through this exercise I picked 2 of the 7 players selected–hopefully that can be improved upon, but it’s worth keeping in mind that if you predict 25% of the draft accurately (player X at position X) you’ve done very, very well.
The only firm trend the Sens have had under Bryan Murray is not picking from Europe unless it’s from Sweden. I don’t think this is an actual “rule”, but clearly their scouting is strong in Sweden and circumstances have worked against Finnish or Czech or any other European league. We can be assured there will be players from the CHL, US leagues, and Sweden taken, but not preclude other possibilities.
The only serious attempt I’ve seen at picking the entire draft comes from The Hockey Writers who, like I did last year, propose a likely candidate and then alternatives. I’ll note their predictions as I go through my own.
1-17 – Mock drafts are all over the place for this selection, but we know Adam Erne (RW 6’1 QMJHL) and Kerby Rychel (LW 6’1 OHL) were part of a foursome brought to Ottawa and with the many rumours surrounding Samuel Morin (DL 6’6 QMJHL) I suspect he was part of that group. At least one of the three should be available when the Sens make their pick (I actually think all three will be), but if all are available who do they like more? I keep hearing Morin so I have to go with him. THW offers five possibilities echoing only Erne above; the others are Hunter Shinkaruk, Alexander Wennberg, Frederik Gauthier, and Curtis Lazar. They prefer Shinkaruk of the bunch, but I don’t think he, Wennberg, or Lazar will drop that far.
3-78 – Niklas Hansson (DR 6’0 Swe Jr), Carl Dahlstrom (DL 6’4 Swe Jr), and Gustav Olofsson (DL 6’2 USHL) are the possibilities for the Sens here by my estimation. I think puck-mover Hansson is the most likely pick. THW suggests Myles Bell, Matt Buckle, or Marc-Olivier Roy (preferring Bell). I don’t think Roy will be available at this point.
4-102 – Kurt Etchegary (CL 5’11 QMJHL), Jared Hauf (DL 6’5 WHL), and J. C. Lipon (RW 6’0 WHL) are my options for this pick. I think the Sens will go for the speedy Etchegary. THW suggests Tyler Hill, Will Butcher, or Mason Geertsen. Hill is the only one I believe will be available this late.
4-108 – Cole Cassels (CR 6’0 OHL), Tyler Lewington (DR 6’1 WHL), and Ben Harpur (DL 6’5 OHL) are my options, with the nod going to the right-handed Lewington. THW suggests Remi Elie, Gage Ausmus, Viktor Arvidsson, or Greg Chase, but of these I think only Arvidsson will be available.
5-138 – Blaine Byron (CL 6’0 OJHL), Kayle Doetzel (DR 6’2 WHL), and Jaimen Yakubowski (LW 5’9 WHL) are my potentials, with Smiths Falls’ own Bryon being my pick. THW suggests Brendan Burke, Marcus Hogberg, Evan Cowley, Antoine Bibeau, or Evan Allen. That’s four goalies and I don’t see the Sens picking one even if they are available, but Allen is an option for that pick.
6-161 – Brody Silk (LW 6’0 OHL), Luke Johnson (LW 5’11 USHL), and Nolan De Jong (DL 6’2 BCHL) are the potential picks, with De Jong getting my pick (the Sens like to pick long-term, college-bound players with later picks). THW largely throws up their hands for this and the next pick, including some of the names above and adding in Peter Trainor, Jesse Lees, Miro Aaltonen, Steven Harper, Joose Antonen, Scott Oke, Albert Yarullin, Mitchell Theorot, and Brenden Kichton. This list is so broad and non-specific it doesn’t warrant analysis.
6-168 – Jerret Smith (DR 6’2 WHL), Robin Norell (DL 5’11 SHL), and Jeff Corbett (DR 6’1 OHL) are my options, with Smith getting the nod.
To summate: Samuel Morin, Niklas Hansson, Kurt Etchegary, Tyler Lewington, Blaine Byron, Nolan De Jong, and Jerret Smith are my picks (so three changes from my big draft article, with Morin replacing Morrissey, Lewington replacing Cassels, and De Jong replacing Silk). If my predictions are correct the Sens would leave the draft with five defensemen and two forwards–a seemingly unlikely combination, but it would shore up a soft spot in their depth.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)