Good Knight for Sens?

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

While the New York Islanders hit the jackpot in last night's NHL draft lottery, there were no surprises for the Senators.

Ottawa had just a 2.7% chance of moving up in the lottery and stayed in the No. 9 position for the draft, which will be held June 26-27 in Montreal. The Tampa Bay Lightning will pick second.

While the Isles are expected to take London centre John Tavares with the top pick, with the Lightning then choosing defenceman Victor Hedman, league scouts are confident the Senators will get a strong player with their Top 10 pick.

"Look, there are six high-end players in this draft and then there are a lot of really good players," said an Eastern Conference scout. "The Senators are going to get one of those players that's in that really good group.

"You'd like (the player you select) to be able to play on your top two lines. No, the players here aren't going to be able to do that right away, unless you can get an Evander Kane, but I would think they'd want to get a forward here."

"I wouldn't take that out of the hands of our scouts," said Senators GM Bryan Murray. "If they feel very strongly about an individual who is a defenceman, then we would do that. But we need a couple of good forwards."

If Murray sticks to that plan, the pick could be London Knights centre Nazem Kadri, who is ranked 15th among North American skaters by the Central Scouting Bureau. He is a player the Senators like.

"I'm very confident we will get a player that we really like at No. 9 and that can address a need at the same time (like Erik) Karlsson last year," said assistant GM Tim Murray.

New York GM Garth Snow likely won't deal his top pick. But Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke may come calling with a blockbuster proposal to move up from No. 7.

"We will immediately begin to attempt to move up," said Burke, who wants Tavares. "I just think he's a helluva a hockey player."

"We're extremely pleased," said Snow of his team's draft position. "This is an exciting time for the franchise."

Tavares, who had 58 goals and 46 assists in 56 OHL games, said all the right things on TSN after the lottery.

"It's a very historic franchise with a great tradition there. It would be a great honour and a special feeling," said Tavares.


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