2015 NHL Draft: Ottawa Senators draft review

By Kristopher Bras

Filip Ahl - Ottawa Senators - 2015 NHL Draft

Photo: HV71 forward Filip Ahl was chosen in the fourth round, 109th overall, of the 2015 NHL Draft by the Ottawa Senators (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)



Gabriel Gagne, RW, Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
2nd round, 36th overall
Height: 6-5 Weight: 187 lbs

The Senators went big when they acquired Gabriel Gagne—a high-scoring young right winger— with the 36th overall pick. At 6-5 and 187 pounds, Gagne is a bit of a beanpole, but expect him to fill out over the next few seasons with the Tigres. If he does so as planned, and develops a bit of a mean streak along the way, he could become the dominant power forward that every team covets.

Gagne is surprisingly nimble for his size, and has terrific offensive tools. He has a quick, hard release, and his long reach makes him a tough player to defend. In 67 games with the Tigres last season, he scored 35 goals—2nd most on the team.

An area that he will need to improve on before he gets to Ottawa is his intensity. He tends to avoid physical play, and often shirks his defensive duties—which can be infuriating in consideration of his immense talent and capabilities. This is something that should improve with age and maturity, though.

Gagne met with the media on Day 2 of the NHL Draft, with a few of his comments being featured in this HF video.

Filip Chlapik, C, Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL)
2nd round, 48th overall
Height: 6-1 Height: 196 lbs

At 48th overall, Filip Chlapik could be a huge steal. Chlapik is a two-way forward who can excel on the penalty kill, as well as the powerplay. Unafraid to battle for loose pucks and block shots as needed, he plays the type of 200-foot game the team has always coveted, similar to former Senators Radek Bonk and Marian Hossa.

Although Chlapik developed well in the Czech U20 league, he improved his draft stock considerably when he joined the Charlottetown Islanders last year via the 2014 CHL Import Draft.

“It was amazing. I think it was the best choice for me, because [of the] great people there, and great fans and everything. I think without Charlottetown, I would never be there, without our coaches,” said Chlapik.

With 75 points (33 goals, 42 assists) in 64 games on a line with Penguins draft pick Daniel Sprong, it’s fair to agree that it was a good move for the youngster. As an import player, Chlapik could join the Binghamton Senators, but he will likely remain with the Islanders for at least one more season.

Chlapik took part in a media scrum after being chosen by the Senators on Day 2 of the draft, with a few of his comments being included in this HF video.

Christian Wolanin, D, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)
4th round, 107th overall
Height: 6-2 Weight: 183 lbs

Christian Wolanin is a solid, puck-moving defenceman who can shoot the puck well, and play with a physical edge. Son of former NHLer Craig, Wolanin has been passed over in the draft for a few years.  After plying his trade in the USHL over the last three seasons, he broke out in a big way this season—scoring 41 points in 56 games.

Just because Wolanin is 20-years-old doesn’t mean he will get to the pros any sooner than the rest of the team’s draft picks. He will join the University of North Dakota as a freshman this season, and although he could make the transition to at any time, don’t be surprised if the late-bloomer develops in the NCAA for the next four years.

Filip Ahl, LW/RW, HV71 J20 (SuperElit)
4th round, 109th overall
Height: 6-4 Weight: 212 lbs

Yet another big-bodied winger, the Senators continued their recent tendency of favouring big-bodied wingers when they selected Ahl with the 109th overall pick. He is a gifted skater, dominant forechecker, and a deadly shooter.

Ahl had a great season for HV71 in the Swedish SuperElit U20 league last season, where he scored 20 goals and finished with 42 points in 34 games. He returns to the SuperElit in August, but will likely move up to either the Allsvenskan or the SHL before long.

Christian Jaros, D, Lulea HF (SHL)
5th round, 139th overall
Height: 6-3 Weight: 205 lbs

Slovak defenceman Christian Jaros is a shutdown-type defender, giving the system another stalwart behind 2014 2nd round pick Andreas Englund. He is a big, tough guy with tremendous character. He also has room to improve offensively, although his skills are better utilized as a stay-at-homer.

Jaros was part of Slovakia’s Cinderella U20 team that stole the bronze medal away from Sweden in the 2015 World Junior Championships. He will return to Lulea HF and likely the National Junior Team in 2015-16.

Joey Daccord, G, Cushing Academy (USHS)
7th round, 199th overall
Height: 6-3 Weight: 190 lbs

The Senators took modern butterfly goaltender Joey Daccord with their 199th and final draft choice. A veteran of Cushing Academy, Daccord has not played outside of USHS competition yet—but he has dominated enough to get plenty of good looks from scouts.

He captained his school from the crease last season, finishing with a 1.80 goals-against and a .933 save percentage. He will join Arizona State in 2016-17, and will likely join the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks in the meantime.

At the conclusion of the Senators’ draft, team GM Bryan Murray met with the media to talk about Day 2 of the draft. His comments are included in this HF video.


Follow Kristopher Bras on Twitter via @KristopherBras


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