Another day, another loss for the Ottawa Senators. With a 13.5 percent chance to nab the No. 1 overall pick Saturday night and elite defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, the team didn’t get him. Nor did they win the No. 2 spot or even the No. 3. Instead, the Senators dropped two spots and will pick with the No. 4 pick.
Regardless, Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion, who has the option of sending either their 2018 or their 2019 first-rounder to the Colorado Avalanche as part of the Matt Duchene trade, said last night that the team will keep their pick this year and the team will trade their 2019 unprotected first-rounder to the Avalanche, according to Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch. There had been talk several months ago that Ottawa was considering moving this pick if it was outside the top-three in case the team struggled again next year and with an unprotected pick in 2019, the team could lose the potential first-overall pick. However, with the chance to draft this year in the top five, the first time the team has had that chance since 2001, they don’t want to pass it up.
“We’re going to keep the pick,” Dorion said. “There’s no denying that we think that player we’re going to take at No. 4 is someone that’s going to be able to help us maybe as soon as next year … I think it will make us a better hockey team and we’re going to worry about 2019.”
The Senators are hoping to return to the success the team had in the 2016-17 season when the team got into the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Garrioch writes the team will have multiple options at No. 4, including getting one of the three coveted wingers in the draft including Barrie Colts’ Andrei Svechnikov, Halifax Moosehead’s Filip Zadina, and Boston University’s Brady Tkachuk.