LOS ANGELES - The Senators couldn't get their man so they decided to deal the pick instead.
The Senators traded their No. 16 overall selection in the draft at the Staples Center to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for defenceman David Rundblad, who was a No. 1 pick in the 2009 NHL entry draft and will spend this season in Sweden While the Senators could have moved back, all the players they wanted were taken, so GM Bryan Murray opted to bring in a player who has experience with defenceman Erik Karlsson.
The Senators were excited to get Rundblad.
"He's going to go back and play in Sweden for one more year. He's played in the elite league in Sweden, he's played in the world junior championship.
He's skilled. He's got good hockey sense," said Murray.
"There was a forward we were looking at. He disappeared. We thought this was an opportunity to get another high end defenceman. He's an offensive, real smart, good puck move and playmaker. He's a guy who is going to fit today╣s game."
Rundblad will play for Senators scout Anders Forsberg for Skelleftea in Swedish league. Forsberg is conducting his last draft before going behind the bench. The Blues signed Rundblad three weeks ago, but he has agreed to spend the year in Europe.
"He's a power play guy. He reminds me a lot of Erik Karlsson. I was surprised when his name was brought up," said Forsberg. "He has a really good future in the NHL. And I don't know why they would make the decision to trade him. He plays so well, I╣ve known him for five years, I know just about everything about him."
The Senators brought six players into Ottawa, but five of those had been taken. Since Rundblad, 6-foot-2, is going to be ready to play in 2012, the Senators won't have to wait three years for him to develop.
"We felt David Rundblad was going to be better than any player we were going to be able to get in this draft," said Senators chief scout Pierre Dorion.
"That's why we did the deal. I know it's not sexy that we didn't go on stage and draft somebody into the organization. But, we felt whoever we take, this guy is going to be a better player. He's a top-four defenceman who moves the puck. He does a lot of things for us." Murray said they had to give up the pick to make the selection.
"Obviously, St. Louis wanted to get a forward," said Murray. "When you look at their roster, they have a couple of young defencemen coming in that they obviously like as well, and they felt he was the one guy who they could afford (to trade)." The Blues used the pick to select forward Vladimir Tarasenko from Russia.
"We needed to fill another area and that was the idea. David Rundblad is very good player," said Blues president John Davidson. 'He's a great prospect. Ottawa got themselves a good player, but we got two forwards that we needed . . . it's very difficult to fit an Erik Johnson, an Alex Pietrangelo and a (David) Rundblad onto your team at the same time. There's not enough ice. There's not enough power play time. So we've rearranged our depth charts."