Ottawa Senators 2000 Draft Preview

By Nathan Estabrooks
Now that the protected list is finalized we can posit the Senator’s draft method. It’s plain and simple. Defense. The Sens once had more blueliners then they did positions; Lance Pitlick takes the money in Florida, Patrick Traverse is traded to Anaheim, Grant Ledyard retires this summer and Igor Kravchuk will be traded if not selected in the expansion draft. Now as a result of these moves Jason York is the only defenseman with more then three years of NHL experience. Players like Rachunek and Salo will play full seasons next year, thus the minor league prospects need to be restocked. The Sens have made a start in this direction with Julien Vauclair and Gavin McLeod. Unless 4 or 5 players are taken there will be a defense famine in a few years.

With three young goaltenders it no longer appears goaltending will be an area the Sens are looking towards. Lalime and Hurme will most likely platoon next season and as for Simon Lajuenesse, he was recently selected to the CHL’s 2nd all-star team. The Senators might select a goalie, but only if a good prospect is still available in the mid rounds. Otherwise don’t expect a netminder until the last minutes of the draft. There is no lack of depth in the forward core, but there is a lack of realized potential. Although he is a center, Havlat can expect a move to the wing once in the NHL. Young wingers Hossa and Schastlivy teamed with Fisher and Havlat form a burgeoning core of young wingers. The Senators need a big pivot with smaller European wingers a large physical player is a necessity. Two of the first three picks will be centers. It should be noted the Senators’ requirements will adapt when Yashin is traded this summer. The faulty positions of defense and center may be addressed in such a move. Beware though as there are rumblings coming from Johnstone that he is in no rush and the trade may be postponed till mid-summer.