Draft winds likely to blow Senators' way at No. 16
Whether it's a blueliner or forward, team confident it'll land 'good player' in first round
|General manager Bryan Murray is confident the Senators will land a solid prospect with the 16th pick during the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday night (Ottawa Senators Hockey Club).
But on the eve of the National Hockey League's annual lottery, team management remains convinced it will land a top prospect during Friday's first round at the Staples Center in Los Angeles — even if they have to wait a few hours to make it happen.
"We're really excited we're picking at 16 and we feel we're going to get a good pick at 16," Pierre Dorion, the Senators' director of player personnel, said earlier this afternoon at the team's hotel in Santa Monica, Calif.
Senators general manager Bryan Murray sat in on his scouting staff's final pre-draft meeting and likes the look of the player ratings list he'll bring to the proceedings on Friday night.
"There are (good) players we would like to have (available) in that area," Murray said with an eye toward the Sens' first-round pick. "We know that our list doesn't always coincide with other teams' lists, so therefore a player that we have rated at 10 or 12 or in that range might still be available at our pick.
"You hope there's a good need player there for you and we think there will be."
Murray acknowledged there's a possibility that he might try to engineer a trade that would move the Senators higher or perhaps even lower in the first round. Two years ago, Ottawa held the 18th pick in the opening round but made a deal to move up to No. 15 and selected defenceman Erik Karlsson, who is already making a big impact in their lineup.
Murray also threw plenty of cold water on the growing speculation that a trade of the Senators' No. 1 centre, Jason Spezza, might be consummated during a time when all 30 league general managers have convened at the draft.
"There's nothing going on with Jason right now and there has been very little in the way of conversations with other teams," said Murray. "This has gotten bigger than it should have been. It's a non-existent thing at this point. I'm not trying to trade him. I thought maybe a team or two would call and inquire. I've had a couple of teams call me and that's it.
"(Spezza) is a member of our hockey team at this point, unless somebody comes into camp and beats him out, and I can't imagine that'll happen. We'll be okay with him."
The word from the draft
The Senators have extended qualifying offers to all four of their restricted free agents — centre Peter Regin, forwards Nick Foligno and Jesse Winchester, and defenceman Chris Campoli — but Murray said no contract signings are imminent ... Foligno's father, former NHLer Mike Foligno, has been named an assistant coach with the Anaheim Ducks.