Are the Ottawa Senators ready to take the next step in their rebuild and begin trading futures to add help in the present? The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch writes that Senators GM Pierre Dorion is listening to all offers for his numerous draft picks. The Senators own a whopping 13 picks in the 2020 NHL Draft, including three first-round picks and four second-round picks. In a draft class that is considered especially deep, there is a lot of value in those early picks. While No. 3 and No. 5 overall are certainly safe, No. 28 overall and any of the second-rounders could be in play. Dorion is not going to move all five of those picks, but could easily move one or two to bring in immediate help to his roster. Considering that this off-season will also see many teams looking to cut salary, the Senators could land a very good player (or two) by moving their high picks to a team that has no choice but to sacrifice the present and in Ottawa finds the opportunity to invest in the future.
- Among the pressing roster needs that Dorion could address by dealing a pick is an addition in goal. Garrioch notes that there are concerns around the organization about presumptive starter Anders Nilsson, who has not skated since February as he deals with concussion repercussions. While Dorion is “confident” that Nilsson will be ready for the start of the season, there may still be an impact on his play. If he falters, the team does not have any NHL-proven options behind him, with youngsters Marcus Hogberg, Filip Gustavsson, Joey Daccord, and Kevin Mandolese making up their pro depth. As a result, the team may be forced to add a goalie to serve as a short-term fix. If they don’t want to fill that need on the trade market, there are also plenty of options on the free agent market.
- A draft day trade and acquiring a goalie would be significant additions by the Senators, but they will be far from done after those moves are made. Ottawa has just eight players signed to one-way contracts for next season with maybe five or six entry-level players who will likely be on the season-opening roster. That leaves plenty of work for Dorion and company to do to fill out the roster. The team has a laundry list of restricted free agents to sign, up to nine of whom will be or at least could be on the NHL roster. Even if all of that adds up to a 23-man roster, the team also has to be wary of the $60.2MM, which they currently fall $22M under. The Senators will likely need to explore the trade and free agent markets for a few more additions before they can call their off-season complete.