The Ottawa Senators have seven picks in the first two rounds of the 2020 draft. In the first round, they hold picks #3 (SJ), 5 and 28 (NYI). In the second round, the Sens are picking at 33, 52 (CBJ), 59 (NYI), and 61 (DAL).
3rd overall pick:
Possible draftees – Tim Stutzle, Quinton Byfield
Pierre Dorion has already confirmed that the Sens will be picking which ever of these players the Los Angeles Kings don’t pick.
Position: LW/C Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 187 lbs Handedness: Left
Born: January 15th , 2002 in Viersen, Germany
Stutzle played in the DEL in Germany for Adler Mannheim this past season as an 18-year-old. He posted an impressive 34 points (7 goals, 27 assists) in 41 games. Stutzle is an amazing skater which he uses to carry the puck into the offensive zone and maintain puck possession once in the opponent’s end. The young German also has great hands which he is able to use to create offense for his team, and to protect the puck from defenders. His puck control is underrated, as he is often reminiscent of former Ottawa Senators’ center Matt Duchene when it comes to being able to keep the puck away from defenders. Stutzle’s defensive game is not amazing but it’s not for a lack of effort. In all three areas of the ice, Stutzle is active with his skating and positioning as well as his stick. Stutzle has great vision for a young player, but tends to over pass or attempt the more difficult pass more often than just making the simple, shorter one. Stutzle overall has the makings to become an elite forward in the league at either left wing or at center. He has drawn comparisons to players such as Mitch Marner and Nicklas Backstrom.
Position: C Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 215 lbs Handedness: Left
Born: August 19th , 2002 in Newton, Ontario, Canada
Byfield played in the OHL this pass season for the Sudbury Wolves, posting an impressive 82 points (32 goals, 50 assists) in just 45 games. Byfield is a huge center with huge offensive upside. His best attribute is his skating. Typically, a player of Byfield’s size is not a fantastic skater. However, he can move at surprising speeds and get to his top speed quickly. Even more impressive is his edge work, which allows him to outmaneuver defenders well. The young center also has the puck handling ability that you would expect of a projected 2nd overall pick. Match that with his excellent wrist shot and one timer, goal scoring most likely won’t be an issue for Byfield in the NHL. Byfield has the IQ and puck vision to set up his teammates well and is able to create for them. He excels at protecting the puck, has good net-front presence and is a strong forechecker. His defensive game is also polished, and it was easy to differentiate his defensive ability from the rest of the players on his team. That being said, because of Sudbury’s lack of offensive production aside from Byfield, it was not a rare sight to see him standing near the blue line in his zone, waiting for a breakout pass while loosely covering a defenseman. All in all, Byfield has the makings to be a superstar in the NHL. The only knock on his game were potential consistency issues at maintaining a high level of play at all aspects of the game, but with lackluster teammates, this is to be expected for any player. Byfield has drawn comparisons to Evgeni Malkin and Joe Thornton.
Conclusion: Sens fans should be content with whomever they get at 3. Byfield seems to be slightly better than Stutzle but the Kings also have a rumored preference for the German as well.
Prediction: Sens draft Quinton Byfield at 3.
5th overall pick:
Possible draftees – Lucas Raymond, Marco Rossi, Jamie Drysdale, Cole Perfetti
Position: LW/RW Ht: 510 Wt: 170 lbs Handedness: Right
Born: March 28th, 2002 in Göteborg, Sweden
Lucas is the top goal scoring prospect of the draft and his shot is only going to improve as he adds on weight. Lucas played in the SHL for Frölunda HC, posting 10 points (4 goals and 6 assists) in 33 games. He is a fantastic skater, moving swiftly and fluidly. His skating has no weakness, being excellent on his edges and being able to achieve top speed with the puck quickly. His shot is quick and accurate, with a matching one timer. Raymond weighs in at just 170 pounds, meaning that his already deadly shot should become even more dangerous as he gains weight (he supposedly already has during the summer). Raymond’s stickhandling makes him very dangerous in the offensive zone, especially when faced against just a singular defender. He is good at assessing the play as it’s occurring and is able to either make a pass to a teammate or drive towards the net at an efficient rate. Raymond hardly misses the smart pass and has the passing ability to make difficult cross crease passes. Raymond’s defensive play is alright. His positioning is good, dropping low to help his defencemen at the net if needed. Most of his defensive issues stem from a lack of size. He has said this is a point of focus for his training, wishing to be stronger and better in his own end. Raymond has the potential to be a consistent 30 goal scorer in the league, he has drawn comparisons to Johnny Gaudreau, Mitch Marner and Max Pacioretty.
Position: C/RW Ht: 5’9″ Wt: 190 lbs Handedness: Left
Born: September 23rd, 2001 in Feldkirch, Austria
Marco Rossi is a natural center who played for the Ottawa 67’s this past season, posting a league leading 120 points (39 goals, 81 assists) in 59 games played. Marco is an extremely hard worker, both on and off the ice. On ice, he spares no effort in all three zones, partly why he is so good in his own end and on the penalty kill. Rossi takes his offseason training very seriously. A notable knock on his game before last season was his skating ability. Whether it was through gaining a noticeable amount of muscle or if it was confidence based, Rossi emerged at the beginning of this season as one of the league’s best skaters. He used his skating to create opportunities for himself and his teammates very effectively. His improvement in skating made him even more effective at the defensive end and PK. His determination when going down into the corners or battling along the boards and his effectiveness with his stick makes him an extremely defensively responsible center. Rossi’s IQ, vision and passing ability are all stellar and, when used appropriately, he excels at setting up his teammates and making everyone better. His 39 goals this season proves his effective shooting ability. Rossi is a monster at both ends of the ice. The only current con to his game is his height. However, with an increasing number of top end players being under 6 feet tall, it may not matter. He is still incredibly effective in the areas of the game that taller players are typically more effective at. It is also interesting to note, Rossi is quite good in the faceoff circle. Rossi has drawn strong comparisons to Brayden Point and is poised to being a top line NHL center.
Position: RD Ht: 5’11” Wt: 170 lbs Handedness: Right
Born: April 8th, 2002 in Toronto, Ontario
Drysdale is the top defenseman in this draft. Last season in the OHL he posted 47 points (9 goals, 38 assists) in 49 games with the Erie Otters. Drysdale is an excellent two-way defenseman who excels in transitioning the puck out of the defensive zone and into the offensive zone. Drysdale is one of the best skaters in the entire draft which he uses well to stay in front of opposing puck carriers and get past defenders on the other end. Offensively, he has the skating ability, puck handling and IQ to jump up in the play without becoming a liability. He is strong at creating passing lanes and transitioning the puck between zones. Defensively, Drysdale is positionally sound, has a good defensive stick and is strong on the penalty kill. That being said, he needs to gain more muscle. An area of weakness for him is puck battles along the boards and battling in front of his own net. Drysdale has all the necessary skills to be a franchise RHD in the NHL, as long as he gains some muscle mass. His shot is very accurate for a defenseman, but both his wrist shot and slap shot lack power. This will also improve as he gains muscle. Drysdale is likely the second safest pick in the draft after Lafreniere. In part due to his high-end transition passing ability, which are two of the attributes that transition the best between junior leagues and the NHL. Drysdale has drawn comparisons to players like Scott Niedermayer, Sam Girard or Ryan Ellis.
Position: C/LW Ht: 5’11” Wt: 177 lbs Handedness: Left
Born: January 1st, 2002 in Whitby, Ontario
Cole Perfetti played in the OHL last season for the Saginaw Spirit posting 111 points (37 goals, 74 assists) in 61 games. Perfetti’s skill that sets him apart is his insane stick handling ability. He excels in one-on-one situations, using his stickhandling ability and superb agility to beat out defenders. He sports a wicked shot, able to get it off quickly with accuracy and power. However, for a smaller center, Perfetti is noticeably slower than you would expect him to be, with an underwhelming top speed and relatively slow acceleration. That being, said his edgework is very good, allowing him to be so agile. His speed definitely needs work, but with a good coach or trainer he should be able to improve it in a couple of years. Perfetti is alright in the faceoff circle, but he plays well positionally in both ends that can make up for losing draws in either zone. His defensive ability is good, his positioning is strong, and he is able to use his stick effectively to cause turnovers. He will need to bulk up in order to protect the net better and enter puck battles more effectively. Perfetti shows a high hockey IQ and strong playmaking ability. This combined with all of his other strong offensive abilities makes him quite the threat in the offensive zone. Perfetti has the potential to be an elite first line center in the league, but he will almost certainly require 2-3 years of development before he gets top 6 minutes in the NHL. He has drawn comparisons to Nick Suzuki and stylistically, with an improvement to his skating and gaining muscle, Perfetti can become a Datsyuk-like player in the NHL.
Conclusion: Depending on who the Sens draft at 3, the Sens may want to draft another center over a winger, even though Ottawa desperately needs a scoring winger to play with Brady Tkachuk. Personally, Rossi is my favourite player at the 5th overall pick, but for the purposes of the Senators needs, Raymond may be the smarter pickup. If Dorion is not as confident in his RD prospects to become a top pairing defender, he may pickup Drysdale to play alongside Chabot, creating a potential pairing similar to Nashville’s Josi/Ellis pairing.
Prediction: Sens take Lucas Raymond after grabbing Quinton Byfield with the 3rd overall pick
28th overall pick:
Possible Draftees – Hendrix Lapierre, JJ Peterka, Justin Barron
Position: C Ht: 6′ Wt: 181 lbs Handedness: Left
Born: February 9th, 2002 in Gatineau, Quebec
Lapierre has been incredibly unlucky in his QMJHL career when it comes to injuries, only playing 19 games with 17 points (2 goals, 15 assists), and 45 points (13 goals, 32 assists) in 48 games the year prior. Despite his injuries, Lapierre is an extremely good skater with an outstanding top speed and top-grade acceleration ability. He is quite agile, and he is able to maintain puck control while skating at high speeds. While his skating ability is a strength, his balance and lower body strength when battling is lacking and will require improvement. Matched with an above average hockey IQ and vision, he is a good playmaker, able to set up his teammates very well. Unsurprisingly, Lapierre is quite good at protecting the puck and is able to play down low on the ice, but again, if the defender presses on him Lapierre’s lack of lower body strength can go against him. He sports a good shot, but it comes off at the weaker end. Lapierre plays very well in all 3 ends of the ice and uses his high IQ to make sure he is not caught out of position. He is effective at causing turnovers for his team. If healthy and allowed to play games to develop properly, he is likely to become a strong top 6 center in the league, and he may be able to transition to wing if the center position is clogged. He draws comparisons to Ryan Nugent Hopkins or Nick Bonino in terms of playstyle.
JJ (John-Jason) Peterka:
Position: C/RW Ht: 5’11” Wt: 197 lbs Handedness: Left
Born: January 14th, 2002 in München, Germany
Peterka excels as a shifty, speedy skater playing in the DEL for EC München, posting 11 points (7 goals, 4 assists) in 42 games played. Peterka sports an excellent pair of hands to match his shiftiness and he is able to make plays at top speeds. He is a pure sniper, with excellent accuracy with impressive power. He excels at getting past the first defender or getting a shooting lane to generate a scoring chance or a rebound for teammates. He needs to gain more upper body strength or better technique when fighting along the boards. However, his willingness to go into these battles as a skillful forward is a positive sign. Peterka is not a liability defensively but he is not what one would consider a two way forward. The positives are that he still shows effort in his defensive end which is promising. In terms of style of play, and NOT of expectation or even potential, Peterka’s play is reminiscent of Patrick Kane, or Viktor Arvidsson. Peterka, if developed properly could find his way to becoming a goal scoring winger on a team’s top line or as an offensive second line center and powerplay specialist on a good team at his prime.
Position: RD Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 195 lbs Handedness: Right
Born: November 15th, 2001 in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Barron, this past year missed about three months due to a blood clot which he thankfully recovered from. This past year he sported 19 points (4 goals, 15 assists) in 34 games, and the year before posted 41 points (9 goals, 32 assists) in 68 games, with the Halifax Mooseheads. Barron is a very strong skater, equipped with a good top speed and first step that allows him to be effective on both ends. Barron excels at moving the puck between zones by making accurate and smart passes. Barron is not afraid to jump in the play, but is smart about it. Defensively, Barron is very responsible and disciplined, able to make the correct play without panicking and taking unnecessary penalties. His skating and IQ allows him to have strong gap control, his size allows him to be physical around the boards and in front of the net. This past year hurt Barron’s stock in the draft as before the season started, he was projected to be either the top defenseman or second to Drysdale. After recovering enough to play from his blood clot it was evident that he was still not at 100%, the worry around potential long term effects of the blood clot now seems marginal but his stock is still probably lower than it should be. He has the potential to be a very good two-way, top pairing defenseman in this league, as long as he is able to develop properly he should be in the big leagues after a couple of years. His NHL comparison is Charlie McAvoy in terms of playstyle.
Conclusion: Most of these guys are projected to go a little earlier than pick 28, but inevitably some guys will be taken earlier than predicted causing others to fall. It has also been speculated that Dorion does not plan on picking at pick 28, potentially in an effort to use one of the second round picks to move up in the draft to potentially secure one of these guys.
Prediction: Assuming Pierre drafts Byfield and Raymond with picks 3 & 5 he may want to diversify his picks and take a defenseman in Barron, or he could hope to further reinforce our forward core and take Hendrix Lapierre. My prediction is that Dorion takes Barron and it further secures our prospect pool at the RD position.
33rd overall pick (second pick in round 2)
Possible Draftees – Justin Barron, Tyson Foerster, JJ Peterka
Position: RW/C Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 194 lbs Handedness: Right
Born: January 18th, 2002 in Alliston, Ontario
Foerester last season in the OHL posted 80 points (36 goals, 44 assists) in 62 games. Foerster’s shot is deadly, he is able to shoot with great variety on the ice with accuracy and power. He also sports what might be the best snapshot in the league. Foerster is smart enough to consistently get himself in the right spot to set himself up for an easy pass for a one timer. His skating isn’t bad but for a pure sniper you would expect more of a top speed. That being said the rest of his skating ability is strong, with a decent acceleration and strong edgework. Foerster is a good puck handler and is good enough at passing that it doesn’t stick out as a point of weakness for him. He’s strong along the boards at both ends and is committed to playing defense. Foerster has the potential to be an NHL caliber defensive sniper in a top 6 role. He has drawn stylistic comparisons to Steven Stamkos and Craig Smith.
Conclusion: Barron and Peterka are tough players to pin down when they are going to get taken at, so it is completely feasible that one of them falls to the beginning of the second round, but if not Tyson Foerster fills a need for Ottawa, especially after losing Bobby Ryan.
Prediction: Ottawa has had conversations with Tyson Foerster and is the most likely to be available at 33, so he is the most likely pick at 33.
51st overall (pick 20 of round 2, due to Arizona forfeiting their 49th overall pick)
Possible draftees – Ty Smilanic, Antonio Stranges, Alex Cotton
Position: LW/C Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 177 lbs Handedness: Left
Born: January 20th, 2002 in Denver, Colorado
Ty Smilanic played in the USDP for the US National U18 Team posting 22 points (7 goals, 15 assists) in 34 games last year. Smilanic is a high-end skater, allowing him to be a good transition player in in all three zones of the ice. He has a very good, complete offensive package with good hands, a quick, accurate shot that he is able to get off with power, and good playmaking ability. Ty does not do well in puck battles or positional battles, requiring him to bulk up. That being said in puck battles, he is effective when using his stick to try to win the battles. Defense is not a weakness of Smilanic, showing an equal level of effort and IQ in his own end. Smilanic has the tools to be a top 6 forward in the NHL after some years of developing and muscle building. He draws play style comparisons to Alex Killorn.
Position: LW Ht: 5’11” Wt: 177 lbs Handedness: Left
Born: February 5th, 2002 in Plymouth, Michigan
Stranges played for the London Knights in the OHL this past season, putting up 40 points (19 goals, 21 assists) in 61 games. Stranges has an odd-looking stride that somehow works well for him as he is a pretty good skater with and without the puck. Stranges has the ability to make smart, nice looking plays with his stickhandling ability, which he uses to open up the ice for himself. He protects the puck well and has a wicked shot that he is not afraid to use. Stranges’ defensive game is lacking. A lack of effort can be visible at times and he can be caught out of position in his own end. That being said, when he is determined to play defense, he does a good job, showing potential. Stranges could be an effective top 6 winger in the NHL after some more time in the OHL and AHL. He draws stylistic play comparables to Alexei Kovalev.
Position: RD Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 175 lbs Handedness: Right
Born: May 12th, 2001 in Langley, British Columbia
Alex Cotton played in the WHL with the Lethbridge Hurricanes posting 67 points (20 goals, 47 assists) in 63 games, after a notably bad year the prior year (11 points in 54 games played). Cotton is a very offensive defenseman, with strong skating in the offensive zone but needs to improve his edgework and backward skating. Cotton sports a high hockey IQ and vision, able to read and make smart plays consistently in the offensive zone. On top of that, he has a deadly wrist shot that he is not afraid to use when jumping up in the play. His defensive play leaves a lot to be desired. His lack of strong edgework and backwards skating makes his gap control weaker and causes him to get turned around easily. His lack of physical strength also makes him weaker on opposing skaters than you would like from a 6-foot 2 defenseman. That being said, he is smart enough to get in passing lanes, breaking up passes, and good at causing turnovers with his stick. With proper development and a good skating coach, Cotton could become an effective offensive defenseman at the NHL level. He draws comparisons in playstyle to Brian McCabe.
Conclusion: Most players at this stage in the draft are boom or bust picks. These players show options for the Sens at different positions. All of these players will require development, and some will require special focused coaching, luckily, Ottawa is an organisation with a good AHL development staff.
Prediction: Ty Smilanic has the least flaws of the players listed but he is the most likely to be a ‘riser’ in the draft. If he’s available at 51, the Sens could take him.
58th overall pick (pick 27 of round 2)
Possible draftees – Alex Cotton, Evgeni Oxentyuk, Sean Farrell
Evgeni Oxentyuk (Yevgeni Oksentyuk):
Position: LW Ht: 5’8″ Wt: 167 lbs Handedness: Left
Born: February 27th, 2001 in Brest, Belarus
Evgeni moved over to Flint last season to play in the OHL for the Flint Firebirds, where as an overager, he posted 78 points (33 goals, 45 assists) in 58 games played. Oxentyuk is a well above average skater, with a high top speed, good explosiveness, and acceleration. He has amazing puck handling skills, able to stick handle and protect the puck at top speeds. His shot is lacking power but is accurate, and most of his goals are scored in tight of the net, with a knack for getting shots elevated quickly. His defensive play is a work in progress. With some more time in a North American organization and given time to develop Oxentyuk could become a steal. He has drawn comparisons to Johnny Gaudreau.
Position: LW Ht: 5’9″ Wt: 175 lbs Handedness: Left
Born: November 2nd, 2001 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts
Sean Farrell is yet another short, overager. In the USHL this past year he posted 56 points (15 goals, 41 assists) in 44 games played for the Chicago Steel. Farrell is a shifty playmaker who excels at forechecking and applying pressure to the opposition. He’s a solid skater allowing him to carry the puck into the zone well consistently. He has an impressive shot that he uses to create chances for himself and his team. Farrell likes getting into the dirty areas of the ice and manages through his strength in his skates to not get bullied. Farrell brings the same energy for all 200 feet, making him an effective and active defender. Farrell has drawn comparisons to Alex Debrincat but personally I feel like Yanni Gourde is a more fitting comparison.
Conclusion: A lot of boom or bust guys, in particular this year are overagers and/or are undersized.
Prediction: Sean Farrell seems like a diamond in the rough to me. With teams like Tampa, the Islanders and Nashville all having a dedicated ‘energy’ line, players like Farrell will become more common in the league.
60th overall pick (pick 29 of round 2)
Possible draftees – Sean Farrell, Evgeni Oxentyuk, Alex Cotton, Jean-Luc Foudy
Position: RW/C Ht: 5’11” Wt:177 lbs Handedness: Right
Born: May 13th, 2002 in Scarborough, Ontario
Jean-Luc played this past season in the OHL for Windsor Spitfires where he posted 43 points (15 goals, 28 assists) in 59 games played. The most impressive aspect of Foudy’s game is his speed, being one of the fastest skaters in the league this past season. Unfortunately, sometimes it seems like his hands can’t catch up with his feet. Foudy is creative with the puck, mixed with his skating ability, he is able to open up passing lanes, allowing him to make plays. Foudy tends to score from in front of the net. He has also turned into a pretty solid defender. In a few years we could see Foudy in a top 6 role in the NHL. He draws similarities to Paul Byron and Ottawa prospect Alex Formenton.
Conclusions: One of the afore mentioned players are just as likely to fall to this pick. Foudy is a guy that is likely to go earlier but if he falls back to this pick, after getting the guy Dorion wants at 58, Foudy would be a nice addition as well.
Prediction: Depending on how Dorion feels Formenton’s development has gone could determine how he feels about drafting a similar player like Foudy, you can never have too much speed on a team after all.