Sens want Top 10 pick

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:23 AM ET

The Senators are looking to make a big splash at next weekend's draft.

Assistant GM Tim Murray confirmed the club, slated to pick 18th in the first round, will try to trade up to get a Top 10 selection.

Murray admitted the club will likely have to wait until the draft gets under way around 7 p.m. Friday at Scotiabank Place before securing a higher pick.

Senators brass will spend the days leading up to the draft talking with other clubs, inquiring about the price for a Top 10 selection.

The Senators wouldn't just be moving up to please the hometown crowd. Murray, after meeting with the club's top scouts -- including player personnel director Brent Flahr and chief scout Pierre Dorion -- is convinced a player drafted in the Top 10 could help the Senators next season.

'BIG DIFFERENCE'

Murray, who has a strong draft record from stints with the Panthers, Ducks and Rangers, has spoken with Senators GM Bryan Murray about the possibility of moving up.

"Bryan knows we're going to get a player that we like at No. 18, probably a guy we have ranked 12-to-15 on our list, but there's a big difference if you move up into the top 10," said Murray following the introduction of Craig Hartsburg as coach Friday.

"You're talking about a guy who can potentially come in and play next year. I know that's not the most important part or determining factor, but obviously if there's a really good player who can step in next year or the year after, that's something to look at.

"Otherwise, we'll get a strong player, but it's going to be a two or three-year process at the No. 18 spot."

While the Lightning has made it clear it's keeping the top pick to take Sarnia Sting star Steven Stamkos, the Kings (at No. 2), Thrashers (No. 3) and Blue Jackets (No. 6) are all shopping around their high picks.

STEEP PRICE

The asking prices will be steep. It's believed the Senators would have to give up not only their No. 18 overall selection, but also a roster player.

"That's a big concern for us," said Tim Murray. "If you're going to move into the Top 10, then you have to be doing it for the immediacy of next year. That's why you're going to have to pay a steep price. You're really going to have to like the guy you're going to get.

"But that's an evaluation we're going to make right at the table. If a team is calling, then you have to make sure that player you really want is there to select. If you're going to pay big price to move up, you are probably trying to get one of the defencemen that are available."

Defencemen m ake up six of the Top 10 in NHL Central Scouting rankings for North American skaters, including Drew Doughty of the Guelph Storm at No. 2 behind Stamkos, and Zach Bogosian of the Peterborough Petes at No. 3.


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