Sports

Review: How Did the Senators Make Out at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft?

For the Ottawa Senators, the 2023 NHL Draft in Nashville won’t exactly go down as a non-stop thrill ride, filled with top prospects and wheeling and dealing. In fact, it might have been the quietest, most uneventful draft in Sens history. They didn’t make any trades and didn’t have a single draft pick in the top 100.

 

Long before the draft, the Senators traded away their 2023 first, second and third round picks, so that meant their first pick wouldn’t come in the fourth round on day two. The good news is, they do have some things to show for it. For example, they spent their first rounder on acquiring defenceman Jakob Chychrun, who should be a key piece of Ottawa’s core for a long time.

 

With Alex DeBrincat possibly on the trade block, many people felt that Senator GM Pierre Dorion might try and acquire a pick or two to improve his 2023 draft capital. But it never happened. The Sens were wallflowers, watching from a distance, as 107 young prospects were selected by other teams. 

 

Finally, when Ottawa’s turn came, they grabbed Hoyt Stanley at 108.

 

 

 

Stanley is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound defenceman out of the BCHL, the same level as Ottawa’s CCHL, a tier below Major Junior. Stanley put up 38 points in 53 games for the Vancouver Grizzlies. Of the five Senators draft picks, two of them came from the BCHL and a third (Vladimir Nikitin) will play in the league next season.

 

 

While the list isn’t filled with household names, it should be noted that Daniel Alfredsson and  Mark Stone were equally unknown on their draft days, both chosen in the sixth round. They turned out pretty well.

 

There was a little bit of Senators news that came out of the draft, and that was the re-signing of Jacob Larsson to a one year, two-way deal. Senators GM Pierre Dorion had said two days earlier that Larsson would not receive a qualifying offer but obviously had a change of heart. At almost the same time, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that talks with pending UFA Travis Hamonic weren’t going very well.

 

 

 

Thomas Chabot, Jake Sanderson, Jakob Chychrun, Artem Zub and Erik Brannnstrom have already laid claim to the five top blue line spots. If Hamonic isn’t re-signed, that would suddenly open up a spot for a young player Tyler Kleven, Jacob-Bernard Docker, Lassi Thomson or Finnish newcomper Nikolas Matinpalo.

 

Next up for the Senators? The annual Canada Day free agent frenzy on July 1st. They’ll have a tough act to follow after last year’s signing of Claude Giroux. Even if the Senators aren’t that active, it’s hard to imagine it won’t be more exciting than their draft day.

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