Mission accomplished

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:10 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Top scout Frank Jay wore a wide smile as he left the Senators' draft table late Saturday night.

Mission accomplished.

It'll be awhile before the final grade is in, but Jay and the club's scouting staff are confident the work they did at GM Place this weekend will make a difference down the road.

Sure, every scout is satisfied after an NHL entry draft. But the Senators were thrilled to get gritty Sudbury Wolves winger Nick Foligno with the No. 28 pick in the first round. He's considered a valuable piece of the Senators' future.

"We feel good," said Jay. "Nick Foligno might be just the kind of player this organization needs. He's gritty and he gets the job done. We tested him and (strength coach) Randy Lee tells me we can work with him to get him stronger and make a him a better player."

Everybody seems to like the selection of Foligno. Even his Sudbury linemate Benoit Pouliot, a St-Isidore product taken by the Minnesota Wild last year, thought it was a good choice.

"Nick was a real vocal leader in the (Wolves) dressing room," said Pouliot. "He was still pretty young for that role last season, but that didn't seem to bother him at all.

"There are no easy practices with Mike Foligno (Nick's father). The coach was even harder with his son, I think. But you see it paid off because Nick was a first-round pick."

In the third round, the Senators selected rugged defenceman Mark Gryba, a Canadian playing high school hockey in Green Bay, Wis.

They also picked Kaspars Daugavins from Riga, Latvia in the third.

The club grabbed defenceman Pierre-Luc Lessard in the fourth round. That's the first time they've taken a player from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in six years. Lessard played for the Gatineau Olympiques last season, but was recently shipped to the P.E.I. Rocket.

"They really liked him in Gatineau and they felt he was captain material," said Jay.

"We think we've got a strong player here."


Videos

Photos