The average seventh-round pick doesn’t even earn a contract, let alone sniff the NHL. That’s why the performance this season from Max Guenette has been so impressive. The young defenseman has been rewarded for his play with a recall to the Ottawa Senators and a potential NHL debut in the next few days.
Guenette, 21, was the 187th overall pick in 2019, and less than two years into his professional career, is already up with the big club. The right-shot defenseman scored 38 points in 69 games in the AHL, leading all Belleville Senators defensemen.
Ottawa has reassigned Jacob Bernard-Docker to make room on the NHL roster, a move that suggests Guenette will make his debut at some point. When he does, it will mean the entire 2019 Senators draft class will have played at least once in the league.
Lassi Thomson, Shane Pinto, Mads Sogaard—the team’s first three picks that year—all look like significant building blocks. Viktor Lodin and Mark Kastelic, the next two, are organizational depth. The future for Guenette is a little more unclear after his strong performance this season. He’ll get a chance to show he’s more than just a seventh-rounder.