The NHL Entry Draft is just around the corner and the Ottawa Senators will be almost living at the (virtual) podium. Ottawa owns seven picks in the first two rounds including the third and fifth overall selections. Jeff Marek gave his thoughts on that fifth pick in today’s 31 Thoughts podcast for Sportsnet, including some interesting names that may be in play.
Five’s gonna be interesting. I’m told there are three different beliefs in that organization.
There is the “let’s take a defenseman here.” There is a belief that that would be Jake Sanderson, Geoff Sanderson’s kid. There is another belief within the organization that they are thin on the right side as it comes to prospects after players like Drake Batherson. That Jack Quinn, who was a 50-goal scorer two-way player with the Ottawa 67’s, the local boy, might be the right fit for Ottawa…and then the wildcard in all of it is the goaltender.
Yaroslav Askarov, that goaltender Marek mentions, is one of the more interesting prospects to follow in the draft given the wide-ranging opinions on where netminders should be taken in the draft. In the same podcast, Elliotte Friedman suggests that even the New Jersey Devils would consider Askarov at seven, despite having Mackenzie Blackwood in the organization already.
- The Arizona Coyotes have named Brian Daccord special assistant to the general manager and director of goaltending operations. Daccord comes to Arizona by way of Toronto after spending the last several seasons with the Maple Leafs. Father of Ottawa Senators goalie prospect Joey Daccord, Brian comes with plenty of experience in professional hockey including seven years as the goaltending coach for Adler Mannheim in the DEL.
- Mikko Koivu’s time in Minnesota may be over, but that doesn’t necessarily mean his playing career is done. Koivu told reporters including Michael Russo of The Athletic that he is returning to Finland to start training as if he is playing in 2020-21, though he hasn’t made a decision on his future just yet. Koivu, 37, scored just four goals in 55 games for the Wild this season and has played in nearly 1,100 games over a long career.