Three centres of attention for Senators in draft

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:01 AM ET

The consensus is the Senators need to select a forward with their sixth overall pick in the draft.

Judging by the Central Scouting rankings released Monday and the needs of the teams picking ahead of them in the June draft, the Senators should be able to get help up front.

There is no consensus No. 1 in this draft. It’s a lot like last year, when there was a debate between Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. Hall ended up going No. 1 to the Oilers.

Here’s what could take place this year:

1. Edmonton: The Oilers still need blue-line help and a blue-chip prospect to build around. This guy has been a consensus stud all season.

Adam Larsson, Skelleftea, D, Sweden.

2. Colorado: The Avs have to go for help up front. They need a set-up man with a strong skill set. But this player isn’t going to play for them next season.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Red Deer (WHL)

3. Florida: The Panthers just need a player. GM Dale Tallon has been rebuilding for a long time. With openings, they could want someone who can step in immediately.

Gabriel Landeskog, C, Kitchener (OHL)

4. New Jersey: They were the big winners in this lottery by moving up four spots. You’ve got to think they’re going to try to bring in a defenceman.

Dougie Hamilton, D, Niagara (OHL).

5. N.Y. Islanders: The Senators could target this pick as GM Garth Snow doesn’t mind moving down in the draft. The Isles could use size up front and are thin everywhere.

Sean Couturier, C, Drummondville (QMJHL).

That leaves three possibilities for Ottawa:

1. Jonathan Huberdeau, C, Saint John (QMJHL): He’s rocketed up the charts since mid-season. He’s got unreal skill and vision. He competes on every single shift and he hasn’t let up all year. Just going to get better.

2. Ryan Strome, C, Niagara (OHL): He’s got a lot of skill and he’s very tenacious. He’s gotten bigger, stronger and finished with 33 goals and 73 assists for 106 points this season. Every team looks for character and he’s got it.

3. Sean Couturier, C, Drummondvillle (QMJHL): If he doesn’t go earlier, he’s going to be a guy the Senators will have to consider. There are concerns about his skating, but he’s got high-end skill.

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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