2013 Entry Draft Journal
18th among draft-eligibles in the Jeff Skinner Rankings (one behind Leafs' selection Gauthier), though that doesn't account for quality of competition and he faced weak opposition in the Q this past year. Second-lowest on Val-d'Or among forwards.
5v5 stats (season and playoffs):
2011-12: 5-7-12, 0.20 PPG
2012-13: 18-24-42, 0.67 PPG
Most similar from past drafts: Brandon Kozun (2008), Charles Hudon (2012), Emerson Etem (2010).
Ben's a big body, a defensive defenceman who plays a shutdown role for Guelph, he's pretty raw. It was his first year in the league last year, he really improved after Christmas. He's really coming into his own, he's learning to be more assertive, using his size more and as that comes forward I think he'll be able to handle the puck a little bit more and his confidence will grow.
On how he projects:
I think he's going to project in the future as a complimentary defenceman in the 5-7 role. Defensive guy, stay at home and move the puck and use his size to his advantage.
He's a kid who was not selected or ranked very high -- he was pretty low -- but we feel pretty good about his potential, like Colin Greening in our organization. He's a big guy who can skate, he drives the net, he's not high end intelligent with the puck but he drives the net with speed an strength and we see these tools that down the road he could play on the big team.
On his timetable:
He has already played a few games for the big Djurgarden team which is the second highest Swedish league -- the Allsvenskan, but mostly he played in the junior league. Next year he'll be playing either with the men's team or a junior team.
On his physical tools:
He's not (physically) mature, he's got lots of room to build up and we believe that big body might be hard to play against some day.
On being picked by the Sens:
Obviously it's a big relief. Waiting was kind of tough but to hear my name called by the Senators is a great honour. Now it's the next step in my career and I'm excited to get started.
On next steps:
Just training hard in the offseason, getting ready for -- hopefully -- the main camp and worst comes to worst I head back to Guelph for a couple of season and hopefully have a couple of solid seasons there.
On where he expected to be taken:
I had heard anywhere from the mid-rounds to the later rounds, I think I was ranked 100th on North American central scouting so my agent told me to be ready to hear your name called whenever so I came into it with an open mind and no real expectations and just waited for my name to be called.
On who he is with at the draft:
There's 14 of us. My family came and my grandparents and some close family friends of ours and then, actually, the guy I've been training with, power skating for the last five years or so, he's been a big part of my career so he came as well.
On the influence of Scott Walker -- former NHLer and his head coach in Guelph:
It's been great. He had a long career in the NHL and I think he knows what it takes and he understands the process it takes to get to the next level. He's there to help you along every step of the way. We have a real good team and a real good set of coaches there as well.
On teammate Matt Finn's influence:
Last year he had a tough situation, he was expecting to go in the first round and ended up going earlier in the second so he had to wait that extra night, but I talked to him before I came here and he said 'Don't be too hard on yourself, don't set expectations and just enjoy it and soak it all in.'
On his game:
I'm a big shutdown d-man, I chip in offensively where I can but I worry about the defensive zone first.
He's a kid who is competitive in the net. He needs to learn to keep his patience, but under good goalie coaching he's got the tools to improve. With Wammer (Rick Wamsley) in our organization we believe that he can bring assets in the future. He's a long way away, he's going to play in the Allsvenskan next year against men as a starting goalie, which could help him to improve and make progress and after next season we'll see if he's ready to come over and play in Binghamton or if he's going to stay and play another season in Sweden. He has the tools to become a goalie (in the NHL).
On the tools that make him an NHL prospect:
He can use his size to stop the puck, he competes, he plays active, he's involved in the game and he brings confidence to the team with his saves. He's a goalie who can make big saves, which usually brings a difference to the game.
Curtis is a really great character kid, we really love his character, he's a good skater, solid kid, plays strong on his skates, plays a solid two-way game. He can also score goals, he scored 38 in the regular season this year. Real solid player we hope has the potential to be a top two line, second line guy and his work ethic is tremendous.
On projections and comparables:
Some kids there's a definite comparison. I think this kid has a chance to be like Ryan Callahan from the Rangers -- that type of player -- gritty player, a two-way guy who can score goals and could be a potential leader on the team in later years.
6:30 PM: I brought you Buzzing the Net's "Jeff Skinner Rankings" late last week and their resident numbers guru, Rob Pettapiece, has been kind enough to provide us with his data on Sens picks he has been tracking. Kudos to Rob and BtN blog editor Mr. Neate Sager for making this data available to us and Sens fans.
Here's what he has on Lazar:
Mostly maintained scoring rate even after increase in quality of competition. In 2011-12, faced only 7th-strongest forwards and 8th-strongest defencemen of anyone on Edmonton; this past year, faced the top opposing forwards on the team. 23rd among draft-eligibles in Jeff Skinner Rankings and 51st overall, with NHLe of 26.7 points per 82 games over his first seven NHL years. Most common on-ice teammates: Keegan Lowe, Dylan Wruck, Henrik Samuelsson. Most common opponents: Brady Brassart, Alex Roach, Jaynen Rissling.
Closest draft-eligible comparables from other years: Ryan Harrison (2010), Brandon Magee (2012), Josh Leivo (2011).
5v5 scoring stats (G-A-Pts, only at 5v5, including playoffs)
2010-11: 0-1-1, 0.09 PPG
2011-12: 21-16-37, 0.45 PPG
2012-13: 24-14-38, 0.40 PPG
On Curtis Lazar:
We had him rated as a good player, very competitive, point getter, a guy that fits in with real character with the effort he puts in every night. He has a chance to be a very good pro.
On the Sens plans going forward:
We've talked a fair amount all the time. We talked about moving our pick back a bit and still getting the same player. We don't have a second, we just have to stay the course, we have a good list, we have strong scouting -- we know that, it's a matter now of hopefully getting a few more players in this draft that over the course of their career they develop into good NHL players.
On being drafted by the Sens:
It's a dream come true just being here and sharing this experience, but also going to a good organization like Ottawa. I've never been to Ottawa before so I'm looking forward to doing that.
On his interaction with the Sens prior to the draft:
I met up with one of their scouts earlier this year, we went our for lunch and just to get a feel. I like what they're doing with the organization and I'm just glad to be a part of it.
On how his game fits into the Sens style:
It's great. I'm looking forward to getting into camp and sharing the attributes other players have and trying to strengthen myself.
On what he knows about the Sens:
Just a little bit, obviously Daniel Alfredsson is the big one and I'm really excited he's coming back, but I'm looking forward to the experience. I'm really proud right now.
On his position:
I've played centre for the past two seasons. I'll get more of a sense from the organization of where they want me to play if it's centre or wing because I'm more comfortable in that role but still, I saw coach today and it's really good to share this with him as well.
On his style of play:
I play a 200 foot game. I take care of the defensive zone before I go on the offence. I'm strong in all areas and my goal is to be as complete as I can.
On his reaction to the pick:
Absolute shock. You almost forget to breathe it's so exciting. You get up to the stage and all that and you're just thinking about all the people who helped you get to this point and before you know it it's over. I'm really happy.
On if he thought about being a Sen ahead of time:
Oh for sure, and they're a Canadian team as well. That's something Bryan Murray talked about. If I can handle the pressure (of playing in Canada). I'm looking forward to that as well.
On who he had with him in the stands:
I had my mom and dad -- I was sitting with them. I had my sister and two brothers were sitting upstairs and my girlfriend and aunt and uncle so I'm proud to share this with them as well.
On next steps:
The draft year is behind us now. I can move on with my career now and get more of a sense of guidance from the organization. It isn't quite as hectic now going from playing to the combine and to here, but it's well worth it in the end.
On if he can make the jump right away:
I haven't played with the pro guys yet, I don't know what it takes. I know for myself I want to be there as soon as I can and all I can do is make their job to send me back to junior as difficult as it can be.
On his dad's reaction:
He seemed quite composed actually, I'm sort of happy because he didn't embarrass me by all means. I'm just proud to have him here and share it with him because he's a big part of my life.
On his junior career in Edmonton:
It's huge and you look at the drafted guys who have gone through this experience and having those guys as resources that can help me get to where I am, I owe my teammates a lot.
On the fans in Edmonton:
Thank you for loving me and adopting me into your town and if I'm back in Edmonton next year let's have another good season.
On the WHL players getting picked:
It's a great league, what more can you say? It's competitive all throughout and even like I said, watching my teammates and guys from other teams from the Western Hockey League go up there, it's a proud moment to share that with them.
Vancouver CanucksOttawa Senators
NHL player: Ryan Getzlaf
Hockey hero: Joe Sakic
Goal celebration: “Fist pump”
Video game: NHL
Movie: Happy Gilmore
TV show: Entourage
Actor: Mark Wahlberg
Pump-up song: “Lose Yourself” by Eminem
Sport (other than hockey): Baseball
• In 2012-13, Lazar registered 61 points (38-23--61) in 72 games, helping the Oil Kings to their second consecutive Central Division and Eastern Conference regular-season titles in the Western Hockey League. His 38 goals led the team.
• He had nine goals (9-2--11) for Edmonton on its run to the WHL Championship Final in 2013 – they were defeated by Portland in six games.
• In 63 games as a rookie in 2011-12, Lazar registered 31 points (20-11--31) in the regular season and then led the team with eight playoff goals during their run to the WHL championship (8-11--19).
• Lazar was part of Team Canada's gold medal-winning Under-18 team at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament scoring three goals (3-1--4) in five games. He also won a gold medal as captain of Team British Columbia at the 2011 Canada Winter Games, scoring 12 goals and 17 points in six games to break Steve Stamkos’ goal-scoring record and Sidney Crosby’s record for most points in the tournament.
1. Nathan MacKinnon - Avalance
2. Aleksander Barkov - Panthers
3. Jonathan Drouin - Lightning
4. Seth Jones - Predators
5. Elias Lindholm - Hurricanes
6. Sean Monahan - Flames
7. Darnell Nurse - Oilers
8. Rasmus Ristolainen - Sabres
9. Bo Horvat - Canucks
10. Valeri Nichushkin - Stars
12:00 PM: It has been a long wait after a fast and furious NHL season but the 2013 Entry Draft is finally upon us.
Follow along here with Inside the Senate to stay on top of all the Sens news on draft day. Whether it be a pick, trade or excellent soundbyte, we'll have it here for you along with the other big news of the day.
Rumours are swirling and the Sens staff is hard at work in the war room as I type this. Keep a finger on that refresh button.
Now, as we near the first pick today, let's head to the NHL Store in New York where fans are buzzing with talk of phenom Vladimir #PeskySensky in this totally serious profile.
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