Senators 99 Draft Preview

By pbadmin

Following a disappointing playoffs perfromance, Sens fans are left with the
NHL Draft to try to compenste for a great season but awful playoffs.

The Sens needs are glaring: a top goalie, a second line center, another
sniper, a PP QB. With those needs, however, will play no part on who the
Sens will draft. The Sens, as always, select the best player available,
every draft, no matter the team need. The question is, at slot 26, who will
be the best available. This is a very difficult draft to figure
out. With all the Europeans, and goalies, and 1997 re-entries, its hard to
calculate who will be available at the 26th spot, 39th spot, and the 54th
spot. Some of the possible Sens selections are:

Maxime Ouellet – the Sens aren’t completely sold on Mathieu Chouinard as a
#1 goaltender due to his inconsistence this year. Ouellet would provide as
insurance in case as Chouinard doesn’t have what it takes. Ouellet may also
be better than Chouinard. With Damian Rhodes likely headed to Atlanta in
the expansion draft, goaltending is a definite hole the Sens want to fill.
In all likelyhood, Ouellet will be selected before the Sens first rounder,
leaving the Sens to select….

Evgeny Konstantinov - Nikolai Khabibulin clone. Some scouts say the Russian
goalie is better than Ouellet, and some scouts say Ouellet will be better
than Brian Finley, leaving many to believe Konstantinov will be the best
goalie to come out of this draft. Picking a European goalie is always a
risk, but Konstantinov is too good to pass up. May actually be available
for the 39th spot so watch the Sens to draft him there if available.

Martin Grenier - a player the Sens badly need: a huge (6’6”), two-way
defenseman. Solid on both sides of the ice. The Sens scouts have openly
said they love him. His one major problem and the problem that will likely
lead to the Sens not drafting him is that Grenier is painfully slow. The
Sens play a speed game and it’s doubtful Grenier can adapt to that sort of
game. His size and toughness, however, may be enough for the Sens to draft
him.

The Three Wild Cards - Martin Havlat, Konstantin Kaltsov, and Mikhail
Kuleshov – all fast, all skilled, all high-risk. Will they be a Marian
Hossa or they will be a Alexandre Volchov? Hossa was a wild card, dropped
to 12th in the 1997 Draft, and became the league’s most talented rookie. If
the Sens were to choose any of the three, I’d personally prefer Konstantin
Kaltsov.

Predictions on 1st and 2nd round - Sens have three picks in these two
rounds. They will choose one goalie, one European winger and likely one
huge defenseman. The best available of each. Thats my predictions. Also,
watch for the Sens to draft one of the many Ottawa 67s in this draft.

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