The Ottawa Senators made a run for the ages to get into the 2015 NHL playoffs. During the regular season, the Sens were 9th in the league in goals-for-per-game, and 13th in goals-against-per-game. Our customary look at the hockey's future (www.hockeysfuture.com) rankings find the Senators sitting at 23rd in the farm system rankings, with noted needs for elite level talent and particular weakness on the blue line. While Ottawa's needs may be down the middle and on defense, the LBC mock draft has left the top player available a wing, and with Ottawa already possessing a variety of possible future role players in their farm system, this is the best option for an impact player. So, without further ado, the best player on the board at this time is a forward, and thats who we are going with here.
With the 18th pick in the Litter Box Cats Mock Draft, The Ottawa Senators select:
Evgeny Svechnikov - LW Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
Svechnikov is a 6'1, 199 lb. left wing who played 55 games for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL, where he scored 32 goals to go along with his 46 assists (78 points) in 2014-15. He is the 17th ranked North American prospect by NHL Central Scouting. To the experts:
A powerful and skilled forward…has great strength and balance on his skates…decent speed and agility, but not a real burner…has the creativity and hands to skate the puck through defenders and then power his way to the net…has a heavy shot that when it hits its mark, is pro caliber…uses his strength and long reach to protect the puck well…not much of a defensive game at this point…goes through long stretches where he is ineffective or downright invisible…can be physical, but also undisciplined…has great upside, but some bust potential as well. (December 2014)
Curtis Joe at eliteprospects.com:
Incredibly skilled offensive winger. Has a remarkably accurate shot to go along with some magic hands. Could be better defensively, but his game is based around his acute sense of what is happening on the ice in the offensive zone. All-in-all, a deadly player who possesses good size, elite-level skill, and smooth skating.
Mike Morreale, at NHL.com:
The 6-2, 199-pound native of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia is No. 17 on Central Scouting's final North American skater ranking. He was second among rookie scorers in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season with 78 points in 55 regular-season games. "He plays a physical game, doesn't back away, is aggressive on the forecheck and finishes checks. He's a pretty complete player for a first-year player in the league," NHL Central Scouting's Troy Dumville said.
While you wait on Detroit and the 19 pick, check out some of Svechnikov highlights: