Without a second-round pick, the Senators were happy goalie Chris Driedger was still on the board when they made the 76th overall pick in the third round. Driedger, who should be the Calgary Hitmen’s No. 1 stopper next season, missed the event to visit grandparents in Saskatchewan.
The Senators used a second third-round pick — acquired in the Mike Fisher trade to the Nashville Predators 16 months ago — to select the Owen Sound Attack’s Jarrod Maidens, a centre/left winger who missed most of last season with a concussion from which he says he’s still not 100 percent recovered.
Playing for Senators assistant coach Mark Reeds as a rookie in 2010-11, Maidens scored the overtime winner in Game 7 of the OHL final against the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors, lifting his team to the Memorial Cup.
“It’s amazing. I can’t even describe the feeling,” Maidens said of getting selected by the Senators. “It’s a relief to finally hear your named called. I’m looking forward to getting out there again and showing what I can do. I won’t let the club down.
“I see myself as an offensive player. I think I’ve got a good ability to see and score. I control the puck low. I see the ice and my players. I’m a composed player out there, I make patient plays. I don’t like losing at all. So as soon as I get on the ice, I think about winning and doing whatever I can for the team.”
Reeds encouraged the Senators to pick Maidens, who may not be quite ready to take part in next week’s development camp.
“We had him checked out and everything came up fine,” said Senators scout Greg Royce. “We projected him as a top end prospect, but with his injury problems and all the woes he had last year, I think he dropped a little bit.
With their fourth-round pick, the Senators grabbed high-schooler Timothy Boyle, the younger brother of New York Rangers centre Brian Boyle. You’ll remember big Brian as the guy who scored three goals against the Senators in the playoffs and had his lights punched out by Matt Carkner.
Tim Boyle is expected to attend Union College, then compete for a Top 4 job on the Senators blueline down the road.
The Senators selected the offensively skilled Robert Baillargeon in the fifth round, knowing he was committed to start a career at Boston University in the fall, before scooping up Quebec Remparts goalie Francois Brassard in the sixth.
Brassard, from Gatineau, is the son of Le Droit sports editor Marc Brassard. His selection prompted the quip “the Senators have gained a goalie and lost a sportswriter.”
The younger Brassard’s reaction when the Senators picked him?
“I started breathing again,” said Brassard, who should be the Remparts’ No. 1 goalie next season. “For sure, it was getting kind of long. I was getting petty nervous and excited. I’m quite happy how it turned out.”
With their last pick the Senators took Swedish defenceman Mikael Wikstrand, who entered the weekend 23rd on Central Scouting’s list of European skaters.
He, too, had an uncomfortable couple of hours.
“I was a little worried,” said the 6-foot-1, 183-pounder. “On my chair I was sitting (and saying), ‘come on, come on, come on.’ ... so it was a little nervous.”
The Senators hope Wikstrand plays on the Swedish national junior team and progresses to the point where he can challenge for a spot on the NHL team.
2012 Senators draft picks
1. (15th overall) Cody Ceci, D, Orléans, 6-foot-1 1/2, 205 lbs., Ottawa, OHL
Last season: 64 GP, 17 G, 43 A, 14 PIMS
Analysis: “He’s a great offensive talent. Strong skater, big shot from the point, plays the game with energy going on the offensive. He’s active, strong physically. Has to improve his defence.” - Senators director of player personnel Pierre Dorion
3. (76) Chris Driedger, G, Winnipeg, 6-foot-2, 187 lbs., Calgary, WHL
Last season: 24-12-3, 2.80 GAA, .896 save percentage
Analysis: “He’s got good size, blocks the puck well, moves the puck pretty good, pretty good positioning. Works real hard and seems like a real good kid.” - Senators amateur scout George Fargher.
3. (82), Jarrod Maidens, C/LW, Niagara Falls, 6-feet, 178 lbs., Owen Sound, OHL
Last season: 28 GP, 12 G, 11 A, 4 PIM
Analysis: “We like his upside, his skill and his pro approach to the game. He plays a complete two-way game. I think he projects as a third-line player with upside to put in some goals.” - Senators amateur scout Greg Royce
4. (106), Timothy Boyle, D, Hingham, Mass., 6-foot-1, 185 lbs., Noble & Greenough, high school
Last season: 24 GP, 6 G, 12 A, 10 PIMs
Analysis: “He’s a good size, active, puck-moving defenceman. Good hands, good skill. He has lots of upside.” Senators amateur scout Bob Janecyk
5. (136), Robert Baillargeon, C, Springfield, Mass. 5-foot-11, 164 lbs., Indiana, USHL
Last season: 54 GP, 14 G, 34 A, 36 PIMS
Analysis: “Another college player, probably for the next three or four years down the road. He’s got second-line skill set. Probably going to be a third-line, power-play guy.” - Senators amateur scout Bob Janecyk.
6.(166) Francois Brassard, G, Gatineau, 6-foot-1, 154 lbs., Quebec, QMJHL
Last season: 20-10-3, 2.80 GAA, .905 save percentage.
Analysis: “He’s a battler. He works hard. This year he got to play a lot more than most backups played. He’s very slight, but with a development program he’ll get bigger and stronger. We’re excited about what’s in store for him.” - Senators amateur scout Trent Mann
7. (196th overall) Mikeael Wikstrand, D, Karlstad Sweden, 6-foot-1, 183 lbs., Swede Mora N-2
Last season: 47 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 14 PIMs
Analysis: “He’s a solid kid who can move the puck and make a play. We just hope he can progress. We hope he can be a depth player who can be useful down the road.” Senators European scout Vaclav Burda