Senators Late Round Picks

By Nathan Estabrooks
After a perplexing first three rounds the Sens plotted their way through the last six. The Senators selected 6 players and traded a pick for another. The two day total is seven defenseman, three centers and one goaltender. Many weaknesses were addressed.

In the fourth round the Senators took defenseman Derrick Byfurglien of the Fargo-Moorhead IceSharks with the 122nd pick. Byfurglien is 6’1″ 185lbs and has received a scholarship with the University of Nebraska-Omaha. By all accounts he is a player with the ability to head-man the puck out of the zone and at the same time posses a great shot. In 50 USHL games last season, Derrick collected 16 points (5G,11A) and 106 PIM. This was a compensatory pick for the loss of group III free agent Lance Pitlick.

The Sens’ anticipation for the fifth round must have been great as they held three picks in succession (156,157 and 158). With the 156th slot the Sens selected blueliner Greg Zanon of the University of Nebraska-Omaha. At 5’11” 200lbs Zanon might be hurt by conditionin, though it’s still too early to tell. Last year 50 PIM, 3 goals and 22 assists were accumulated in 35 games.

The 157th pick was used to take Grant Potulney of the USHL’s Lincoln Stars. Grant has received a scholarship from the University of Minnesota. At 6’2″ 190lbs this pivot appears to have great upside as he was voted the Stars most improved player in ’98. With 56 games played Potulney potted 25 and aided 30 others.

Sean Connolly was the final player taken in the fifth round triumvirate with the 158th slot. Connolly is a defenseman with Northern Michigan in the CCHA. He is 6’2″ 185lbs and scored 2 goals and 14 assists in 35 games.

In the sixth round the Senators made a wonderful late round pick when they took Brampton Battalion rearguard Jason Maleyko. Maleyko was Brampton’s Captain the past two years and is an intimidating 6’3″ 210lbs. With 200 OHL games he has a lot of experience to pull from. Last season Maleyko played 63 games and added 5 goals and 27 assists to the Battalion’s campaign. He also had 108 PIM, which was third highest on the team.

Ninth round (283rd), the Senators took James Demone a defenseman with the atrocious Portland Winterhawks. In 64 games Demone had 1 goal and 2 assists with 80 PIM. Not very impressive numbers yes, but at 6’5″ 220lbs numbers aren’t so important.

There were two minor trades made by Ottawa this weekend. The Sens sent their fourth round pick 118th overall to Los Angeles for the Kings’ fifth round 156th and 157th picks. The Senators also traded their 251st overall pick to Detroit for defenseman Shane Hnidy. While rated as a player lacking speed, Hnidy is a mean and defensive minded player who stands 6’2″ 210lbs. The 24-year-old has been playing for the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks in the IHL, scoring 9 goals and 19 assists while racking up an impressive 153 PIM in 68 games.