[I’m re-posting my old Hockey Herald article here as I believe the site is defunct–it hasn’t produced new content since November of 2011].
The 2010 draft has wrapped up and the Ottawa Senators have come away with five new prospects. The Sens followed their pattern of selecting an over-age player (Aneloski) and an unranked player (Sorensen). In total they acquired or selected two defensemen (both right-hand shots) and three forwards (all wingers, one left and two right). Here’s a look at what happened:
Traded their 16th overall pick to St. Louis (who selected Vladimir Tarasenko) in exchange for defenseman David Rundblad (the Blues 1st round pick, 17th overall, from last year).
Had previously traded away both their picks (#46 to Carolina (subsequently moved to Edmonton, Martin Marincin) for Matt Cullen; #58 (from San Jose) to NYI (subsequently moved to Chicago, Kent Simpson) for Andy Sutton
The Sens tried to acquire a pick in this round, but were unable to do so
Selected (76th overall) left-winger Jakub Culek from the QMJHL
Selected (106th overall) right-winger Marcus Sorensen from the Super Elite league in Sweden
Had previously traded away their pick (136th overall) to San Jose (Isaac Macleod) in the Dany Heatley deal
Had previously traded away their pick (166th overall) to Edmonton (Drew Czerwonka) to select Michael Sdao in the 2009 draft
Selected (178th overall, San Jose’s pick) right-winger Mark Stone from the WHL
Selected (196th overall) defenseman Bryce Aneloski from the USHL
David Rundblad (D-R, 6’2, YOB 1990, 47-1-12-13 SEL)
Signed by the Blues to his entry-level contract just weeks ago, he’d committed to one more year in Sweden (playing for Skelleftea). Presumably he became expendable due to the glut of young defensemen in the Blues system. The Sens believe he’s only a year away from being NHL-ready, having put up two solid seasons in the SEL (along with strong performances in the last two World Junior Championships).
Jakub Culek (LW, 6’3, YOB 1992, 63-13-34-47 QMJHL)
Ranked as high as #57 (McKeens) and no lower than #70 (Red Line Report), Culek slipped down to the Sens at #76. He’s a big, rangy winger whom they envision as a third line player; probably 3-4 years away.
The ISS scouting report: “Culek was one of Rimouski’s better player’s night in and night out. He centered one of Rimouski’s top two lines plus played both PP and PK minutes. He finished the regular season with decent numbers. He possesses above average puck skills, puck protection and hockey sense. His skating has shown improvement from the start of the year, with added strength. He is a big project with third line upside.” They list his size/strength, skating, and hockey sense as Very Good; his shot and puck skills as Good.
RLR says: “Big power winger has a good stride, but lacks balance. Long wingspan that he uses to shield off defenders. Has improved his puck skills dramatically since last season, when he was essentially a big body who played a rugged game along the walls. Is a more confident puckhandlers – willing to carry through the neutral zone and make moves off the rush. Nice release on wristers from the slot area, but is not a natural finisher around the net. Creates his offence through hard work and aggression, banging and crashing down low and driving to the net with and without the puck. Occasionally ridden off the puck too easily by smaller d-men he should be overpowering. Shows defensive awareness to cut off passing lanes and drop back to cover for rushing d-men. Fine prospect if he continues to round off the rough edges and add pieces to his game.” They project him as a rugged 3rd line winger optimistically compared to Ryan Malone.
Marcus Sorensen (RW, 5’11, YOB 1992, 27-7-10-17 SuperElit)
The Sens have a long history of making off-the-wall selections and this qualifies as one. No scouting source had Sorensen listed. On the surface the pick reminded me of Emil Sandin’s selection (199th in 2008)—a small, skilled player who had success in the Swedish junior system. However, for the Sens to pick him this early means he’s more than just a flyer. According to the Sens scouting staff, he’s a speedy player with good hands who needs to get stronger. Like Culek he’s probably 3-4 years away. Sorensen is slated to play for the Djurgarden junior team next year, but the Sens indicated that he may play in the CHL instead (assuming he’s picked in the Import Draft, June 29th).
Mark Stone (RW, 6’2, YOB 1992, 39-11-17-28 WHL)
Ranked as high as #88 (THN) and no lower than #118 (ISS), the Sens may have scored picking Stone at #178. Stone is a power forward who missed significant time due to a thumb injury and a concussion. The scouting staff believe his numbers were down because he played on a stacked Brandon team. He’s a couple of years away from turning pro.
The ISS scouting report: “A native of Winnipeg, Stone has been one of the more successful players in Manitoba hockey in the past few seasons. The simple fact is that teams with Stone on their roster make it to big games and Stone generally is one of the major reasons for this. A big winger who isn’t going to stickhandle his way through many defences, Stone protects the puck well, is a pain to handle around the net and can be looked to provide reliable defensive support. Stone needs to improve his skating and deception skills. He can telegraph his intentions sometimes with the puck and is better suited away from the puck.”
RLR says: “Big winger has nice hands, but skating issues drop him on our list. Stride saw improvement this season, but is still a problem – heavy footed and has a short stride. Has good hands in close and a decent passing touch, but tends to be a garbage goal scorer and we’ve only seen rare glimpses of an accurate shooting touch. Makes accurate passes and is especially adept at finding linemates in transition. Very good at protecting the puck, but skating keeps him from being able to drive the net with authority. Despite good size and decent strength, doesn’t use the body at all. Tends to be a bit timid in board battles and doesn’t initiate much contact. Progress stalled this season due to broken thumb and concussion.” They project him as a fourth-liner with hands, optimistically compared to Steve Bernier.
Bryce Aneloski (D-R, 6’2, YOB 1990, 60-15-39-54 USHL)
Unranked as an overage player, he was passed over in the last two drafts (#157 North American with Central Scouting in 2008). The Sens would have seen a lot of Aneloski, as he played the past two seasons with Jeff Costello (#146 in 2009). According to Aneloksi, who lead the USHL in blueline scoring, the biggest difference this season was his conditioning (http://mckeenshockey.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1096508). Ottawa (and the Islanders) talked to Aneloski before the draft, so he wasn’t completely off the radar. He’s committed to the NCAA and is viewed as a long-term prospect (perhaps staying the full four years).
So what are we to make of this year’s draft? The Sens followed their principal of picking the best player available (rather than drafting for need). Not surprisingly, the picks are all long-term prospects (it’s not surprising due to the number of prospects who are turning pro this year and next).