Draft Day DeBrincat Trade?
Guest Writer: Ken Hawkins (aka khawk)
The most frequently-cited rumor involving the Ottawa Senators and the 2023 draft is that RFA forward Alex DeBrincat will be traded to Detroit when the #17 overall pick is being announced. This rumor is apparently contingent on a certain player (or players) being on the board #17, which then begs the question of who the Senators might have in mind with that much interest. It would be unreasonable to expect any consensus top-15 pick to drop down necessarily, so it's quite a bit more likely to be one of the many names in the 18-32 range.
Some interesting potential targets...
- RHD Tom Willander (SWE) is a two-way right-shot defender (6'1-180) who's developed into one of the biggest risers of the draft because of his combination of high-end skating ability and competitive nature; after a very strong season with Rogle in the Swe-Jr League (note: also the team Oskar Pettersson played for), he's committed to play at Boston University (NCAA) next season. He's listed at #20 in Bob McKenzie's final TSN rankings, but has been rumored to be on several teams' radar in the 10-15 range.
- LW Colby Barlow (CAN) is a strong two-way winger (6'0-190) who has the kind of intangibles that the Senators have often looked for in recent years to support their high-skill forwards. He's more of a shoot-first player and his skating is noted as a potential limitation, but he plays with the kind of determination and leadership that often makes the difference in important games. He may not be on the board at #17, but if he is it would hardly be surprising to see his name called.
- RHD Oliver Bonk (CAN) is another solid two-way right-shot defender (6'2-180) who is the son of former-Senator Radek Bonk, and played extensive junior hockey in the Ottawa area before being drafted by the London Knights; in addition to playing another season with one of the top CHL teams in terms of producing NHL talent, he'll have the opportunity to take over the #1D role next season. McKenzie has him at #28 but RHD have a tendency to climb up on draft day.
- C Nate Danielson (CAN) is an all-round centre (6'1-185) who may not have an elite-level skill set but has exceeded point-per-game production the past two years, and has very good middle-six potential. Some have labelled him a 'safe' pick, but there are few teams in the NHL who couldn't benefit from having another quality young centre in the roster mix. McKenzie has him listed at #16, but the lack of a specific high-end skill could bump him down.
Other notable options would include C Calum Ritchie (CAN) and LW Eduard Sale (CZE)
Who do you think the Senators might target if they wind up trading for the #17 pick? Post your thoughts below, and thanks for reading!