Senators will likely draft D
It is always difficult to predict which skater a team will draft.
The Ottawa Senators draft in the 15th spot, which is a fairly strong draft pick.
Consider the Senators drafted Erik Karlsson, this year's Norris Trophy winner, with the 15th overall pick in 2008.
The draft looks to be strong on defensemen, which works out well for the Senators.
Ottawa is thin on defensive prospects – who are not already playing in the NHL (hello Jared Cowen) – and need a strong boost to match their arsenal of offensive prospects.
It is not unlikely they will draft a forward or goaltender, as general manager Bryan Murray follows the best-player-possible mentality many GMs do, but a defenseman in a draft heavy with D is a better bet.
So who will be available at 15?
Some draft projections show London Knights defenseman Olli Maata available. The finnish defenseman shows promise as a strong two-way player, and is said to be one of the more NHL-ready picks available.
Cody Ceci is a natural pick for the Senators. He is an offensive dynamo from the back-end, and would replace David Runblad as a second offensive d-man option of the future. Sergei Gonchar will be retiring, or useless in that role, within the next few years, and Ceci could be ready in a few short years thanks to his physical game.
Hampus Lindholm could be a dark horse pick at 15. The Senators are certainly not against picking an unexpected pick – such as Mika Zibanejad last year – and Lindholm was apparently quite impressive at the Draft Combine.
Teuvo Teravainen is a forward that shows promise as a sniper. Teravainen won the rookie of the year award in the SM-Liiga as a 17-yeard old who finished the season with 18 points in 40 games for Jokerit.
Brendan Gaunce is also a possible forward pick, although it is doubtful he will be available. He is a big-bodied centre that protects the puck well and can battle down low.
It is all just speculation at this point, bvut expect one of the many capable defense prospects.
A curve ball could come if Murray decides to trade one of his young goalies – which has been rumoured – and he could draft another goalie of the future like Malcolm Subban.
Daniel Alfredsson also took home hardware from the NHL awards. The 39-year old right wing, who has not yet determined if he will play next season, won the King Clancy Memorial trophy as a player who has made significant humanitarian contributions to their community.
Karlsson and the Senators agreed on a seven-year contract extension valued at $6.5 million per season for a total of $45.5 million.