Before the blog, I'd like to give Dean Brown a shoutout for his play-by-play on the Flyers-Penguins series. With the egomaniac Bob Cole set to retire after this season, Dean Brown could be his replacement. It would be sad to see him go as he is one of the best in the biz.
The NHL Draft is looming upon us Sens fans. Since there is no postseason in the Nation's Capital this year, the focus has shifted to the Entry Draft in Habitant Town. I've taken a vacation to Edmonton to meet some family mostly because with the Habs pre-emptively losing to the Bruins not very far away. So back to the topic. I've heard from a couple of people that Bryan Murray WILL NOT draft a centre. Bingo and the farm is stocked with centres and even though there are some really good centres in this draft Murray needs to address the quota and find a guy that will help solidify the weaknesses of the prospect farm. MyNHLDraft has the Sens taking Dmitry Kulikov, a solid two-way defenseman who showed his great vision of the ice when Russia nearly beat Canada in the semi-finals. Kulikov had 5 points(1 goal, 4 assists) in the game. If the Sens would draft him, and added bonus would be his experience on North American Ice. He had 62 points in 57 games with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL and was a plus 14. He also was a main cog in the Voltigeurs' run for the Memorial Cup, which unfortunately ended. Kulikov had 17 points in 9 games in the playoffs. A knock on him, however, is the more I read about his stats and talent analysis, the more he reminds me of Filip Kuba. After the Sens locked up Kuba for 3 more years, I don't think they would want the second coming of Filip as a present.
NHL Draft Site(who finally updated their their Mock Draft yesterday) has the Sens surprisingly taking John Moore, who has seen his Draft Stock rise in the last few days. Moore, born in Illinois, has enjoyed a breakout season with the Chicago Steel of the USHL. He's a special teams expert on the Power Play and on the Penalty Kill, and a wizard on the ice. Moore reminds me of Scott Niedermayer, an expert on both sides of the ice. John also has a mean streak going on and can hit hard. The thing against Moore is that his previous season in Chicago didn't go as well, so I'm guessing he's a streaky guy. The Senators got killed this season by streaky guys and it wouldn't help if they drafted possibly another one.
And then there is Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the bloomer from Leksand. Oliver has been improving in every area of his game and an unknown scout who works with Leksand says "he can grow into another Mattias Ohlund or Niklas Kronwall". With Karlsson already on borad, would like to see a guy on Karlsson's pairing that can understand him internally. Larsson has a heavy shot form the point, some say it compares to that defenseman it Detroit's shot. He has the tenacity of a first-line blueliner. He's been working on his vision on his own zone, but the most important thing is that he's working. you've got to love a guy that does anything to benefit himself and his team. After that, there's the chance Jared Cowen falls into our laps. The Big Defenseman from Spokane busted his knee and got sent home for the rest of the season. He's a big hovering defenseman with a lethal shot from the point and a contributer in his own end. He's been injured quite a lot but I can see this guy eventually developing in another Zdeno Chara. And every Sens fan would love to have him back in another person's body. Okay, that just sounded weird. Rephrase that. Ok, never mind.
But I still think the Sens should draft Jordan Schroeder. Schroeder's stock has also risen and I think his skill level may be second only to Tavares. He'll have to load up if he wants to be a guy that will scare defenseman right of their skates, but his extremely likeness to Jordan Eberle makes me think this guy is the real deal. I'm still sticking with my pick of Schoreder just because the Sens' biggest need eventually is a winger, especially a right winger.
And if there's any chance that MSP falls to us, there's no questions he should be drafted. But unfortunately, I'm pretty sure the Kings will draft him at 5th.