Ottawa Senators: Future Looks Bright After Three First-Round Selections
The Ottawa Senators were one of the worst teams in the NHL last season. They landed gold in the NHL Draft lottery. Ottawa had two picks in the top five and this was the first time since 2000 a team had two picks in the top five and that belonged to the New York Islanders.
The Senators acquired one of those picks from the San Jose Sharks thanks to the Erik Karlsson trade, who is one of the best defensemen in the NHL. It was crazy that just in 2017, Ottawa was one goal away from beating the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals in double overtime and advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Senators have been in rebuild mode ever since. General manager Pierre Dorion deserves a lot of credit and they also have a ton of prospects in their farm system as well though.
Big Picks with the Sticks
They selected left winger Tim Stutzle with the third overall pick from Manheim (DEL), they selected defenseman Jake Sanderson with the fifth overall pick from (USA U-18), and they selected Ridley Greig with the 28th overall pick from the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL).
Stutzle is only 18 years old and he is drawing comparisons to Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks. Tim Steutzle scored seven goals and recorded 27 assists, in 41 games last season with the Mannheim Eagles in the DEL league. His plus/minus was 4.
Sanderson is also only 18 years old. He has the potential to be on the top pairing unit one day with Thomas Chabot. Jake Sanderson played in 19 games in the USHL last season. He scored two goals and recorded 14 assists. His plus/minus was 6.
Greig is also only 18 years old also. He played in 56 games last season in the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings. Ridley Greig scored 26 goals and recorded 34 assists last season. His plus/minus was 11.
Rudolfs Balcers, Jayce Hawryluk, Brady Tkachuk, Chris Tierney, Colin White, and Christian Wolanin are some of the key young players on this hockey team and club moving forward for D.J. White’s bunch though.
It is very possible that Tim Stuetzle will be the captain of this team in the immediate future though.
He is expected to be the heartbeat and heart and soul of this hockey team moving forward. Stuetzle could be with the team on opening night and it remains to be seen.
This team will have four second-round picks in the 2020 NHL Draft. They are actively trying to acquire goalie Matt Murray from the Pittsburgh Penguins or Darcy Kuemper from the Arizona Coyotes. It is very possible that Ottawa is going to have to trade away at least one or two of them and possibly give away a couple to multiple prospects as well.
Craig Anderson isn’t coming back in net and Marcus Hogberg and Anders Nilsson is not the answer for this franchise. Filip Gustavsson is not ready to be a starting goalie yet in the NHL and he is still developing. He was acquired in a trade in 2018 from the Pittsburgh Penguins that sent Derrick Brassard over though.
The Ottawa Senators are building a bright foundation for the future though.
What did you think of Ottawa’s three first-round draft picks? Leave a comment below.
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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.