10 years of poor drafting is the reason the Sens have no secondary scoring perhaps we should have a little patience while Murray tries to restock some of our prospects. Perhaps Bryan Murray should be given a fair shake before he's fired. In essense the reason that the Senators are in such bad shape has less to do with Murray and more to do with the state the teams prospects that have been developed for the 10 years prior to his scouts taking over the team. I removed Jason Spezza from their draft picks because he was essentially dealt for Alexei Yashin.

2007: Jim O'Brien (1), Ruslan Bashkirov (2), Louie Caporusso (3), Ben Blood (4) (Murray was GM but his scouting staff wasn't fully in place)
2006: Nic Foligno (1), Eric Gryba (3), Kaspars Daugavins (3), Pierre-Luc Lessard (4), Ryan Daniels (5), Kevin Koopman (6), Erik Condra (7)
2005: Brian Lee (1), Vitaly Anikeenko (3), Cody Bass (4), Ilya Zubov (4), Janne Kolehmainen (4) Tomas Kudelka (5), Dmitri Megalinsky (6), Colin Greening (7)
2004: Andrej Mezaros (1), Kirill Lyamin (2), Shawn Weller (3), Peter Regin (3), Jeff Glass (3), Alex Nikulin (4), Jim McKenzie (5), Matthew McIlvane (8), John Wikner (9)
2003: Patrick Eaves (1), Igor Mironov (2), Phillip Seydoux (3), Mattias Karlson (4), Tim Cook (5), Sergei Gimayev (5), Brian Elliott (9)
2002: Jakub Klepis (1), Alex Kaigorodov (2), Arttu Luttinen (3), Scott Dobben (4), Johan Bjork (4), Vitaly Atyushov (9)
2001: Jason Spezza (1), Tim Gleason (1), Neil Komadoski (3), Ray Emery (4), Christoph Shubert (4), Brooks Laich (6), Jan Platil (7), Brandon Bouchenski (7), Neil Petruic (8), Gregg Johnson (9), Toni Dahlman (9)
2000: Anton Volchenkov (1), Mathieu Chouinard (2), Antoine Vermette (2), Jan Bohac (3), Derrick Byfuglien (4), Greg Zannon (5),
1999: Martin Havlat (1), Simon Lajeunesse (2), Teemu Sainomaa (3), Chris Kelly (3), Andrew Ianiero (5), Martin Prusek (6), Mikko Ruutu (7), Layne Ulmer (7), Alexandre Giroux (7), Konstantin Gorovikov (8)
1998: Mathieu Chouinard (1), Mike Fisher (2), Chris Bala (2), Julien Vauclair (3), Petr Schastlivy (4), Gavin McLeod (5), Chris Neil (6), Michel Periard (7), Sergey Verenkin (8), Rastislav Pavlikovsky (9)
Note: Players in Italic are considered (by me) serviceable NHL players.

The NHL draft is considered average if two players make a regular impact in the NHL. In the last 10 years I see only one draft where the Ottawa Senators have had a strong draft 2001. Thus far I would consider the 1999 & 2000 drafts to be average and the 1998, 2003, 2004, 2005 drafts to be weak. The 2002 draft was a huge failure and I'll reserve judgement for the 2006 & 2007 drafts for another year or so but currently it is bordering on weak. In this 10 year span the Senators have had 14 serviceable NHL players of those 14 players 5 players (Havlat, Eaves, Laich, Emery & Gleason) were traded for players that no longer play on the current Senators roster. Only two of those transactions were done by Bryan Murray and in both cases he was forced to make those deals because of Emery's attitude and Eaves was packaged with Corvo who requested a trade from Ottawa. Vermette and Mezaros have also left the team but Ottawa still has assets from those two players.

If the Clouston had to send out a team of players drafted by the Senators during the 1998 - 2007 entry drafts it would look similar to this:
C - Mike Fisher Chris Kelly Brooks Laich* Ilya Zubov/Peter Regin
RW - Martin Havlat* Patrick Eaves* Chris Neil Cody Bass
LW - Nic Foligno Antoine Vermette Brandon Bouchenski Petr Schastlivy
D - Anton Volchenkov Tim Gleason* Christoph Shubert
D - Andrej Mezaros Brian Lee ?
G - Ray Emery* Brian Elliot

Quick Analysis
In 10 years of drafting the Ottawa Senators have drafted ONE top line player and that was 10 years ago,he no longer is on the team and was traded for players that aren't on the team. Arguably two or three second line players (Vermette, Foligno & Fisher) although at this point in time I think all with the exception of Foligno are better suited for third line roles. They have been able to develop a good core of role players in later rounds such as; Kelly, Laich, Vermette, Neil and Fisher. The problem is that they haven't found any impact players outside of the first round.
In the first round they look to have hit on top 4 defensemen in; Volchenkov, Mezaros, Gleason and perhaps Lee, but I wouldn't classify any of them as a top defense pairing type. Outside of the first round Ottawa has not selected a single defenseman that is capable of contributing on a regular basis.
In 1998 - 2000 we used three draft picks on two goalies (Chouinard & Lajeunesse) in the first two rounds of the drafts. Those goalies combined to play 24 minutes with the Ottawa Senators. The best goalie drafted during those three years was Martin Prusek who was a backup to Lalime. In the later rounds of the next three drafts the Sens found success with Emery and Elliott but neither appears to be a franchise goalie and we all know what happened to Emery.

Here is list of 10 propsects from the 1998 - 2004 drafts that were picked after the first round:
2004: 1. David Krejci 2. Johan Franzen 3. Brandon Dubinsky 4. Mikael Grabovski 5. Chris Campoli 6. Alex Edler 7. Tyler Kennedy 8. Karri Romo 9. Thomas Greiss 10. Kris Versteeg
2003: 1. Matt Carle 2. Shea Weber 3. Patrice Bergeron 4. Patrick O'Sullivan 5. Max Lapariere 6. Lee Stempniak 7. Joe Pavelski 8. Dustin Byfuglien 9. Tobias Enstrom 10. Shane O'Brien
2002: 1. Duncan Keith 2. Jiri Hudler 3. Matt Stajan 4. Tom Gilbert 5. Josh Harding 6. Jarrett Stoll 7. Maxime Talbott 8. Tomas Fleishmann 9. Dennis Wideman 10. Erik Christenson
2001: 1. Patrick Sharpe 2. Kevin Bieksa 3. Marek Svatos 4. Ryan Clowe 5. Jordan Tootoo 6. Mike Smith 7. Cristobal Huet 8. Marek Zidlicky 9. Christian Ehrhoff 10. Ryan Clowe
2000: 1. Nick Schultz 2. Ilya Bryzgalov 3. Jarrett Stoll 4. Paul Martin 5. Nic Wallin 6. Dominic Moore 7. Lubomir Vishnovsky 8. JM Liles 9. Henrik Lundqvist 10. Paul Gaustad
1999: 1. Jordan Leopold 2. Mike Commodore 3. Nik Hagman 4. Fran Kaberle 5. Nic Havelid 6. Mike Comrie 7. Ryan Malone 8. Ryan Miller 9. Radim Vrbata 10. Henrik

Also, in 2003 Zach Parrise, Ryan Getzlaf, Brent Burns, Ryan Kessler, Mike Richards, Corey Perry were all picked within 12 picks of Patrick Eaves. If we could have moved up to acquire any one of those it may have shored up our secondary scoring. Given that Murray had no problems moving up to acquire Karlsson we know that if he sees a player he likes he won't hesitate to move to get the player.

We all know that Murray has flaws, mainly contract negotiation, but he has been known to be good at drafting & developing prospects in the past. Our 2008 draft looks to have 3 potential NHL quality players (Karlsson, Wiercioch & Smith) and I feel confident that Cowen will be able to step into an NHL lineup within a year or two. So maybe the best thing is instead of having Murray be the scapegoat for previous GM's problems, perhaps we can have a little patience and our organization may turn around and all those years will be forgotten.


  1. albanada said...
    "In 10 years of drafting the Ottawa Senators have drafted ONE top line player and that was 10 years ago,he no longer is on the team and was traded for players that aren't on the team."

    No love for the Spez Dispenser?

    That period from 1998 and 2002 were our worst draft years, period. John Muckler also took Russians from the forests of Siberia with no reason at all.

    Konstantin Gorovikov
    Sergey Verenkin
    Rastislav Pavlikovsky
    Jan Platil
    Jakub Klepis
    Alexei Kaigorodov
    Arttu Luttinen
    Vitaly Atyushov
    Igor Mirnov
    Sergei Gimayev
    Alexander Nikulin
    Dmitri Megalinsky

    All those draft picks wasted for nothing. Ok, I'm really angry now?

    NOTE: Derrick Byfuglien? Is he Dustin's brother? Because if their play is the same, than that would be just snazzy.

    Good post Chris
    hambown said...
    Interesting analysis. I would argue that actually BMs contract negotiation skills are pretty decent. He negotiated a very fair deal with Vermette. Volchenkov and Phillips signed very reasonable deals. In fact, I'd say most of the deals on the team are pretty good. I know no one is happy with Heatley's deal (especially the inclusion of a NMC), and Fisher's deal (ditto), as well as Kuba's deal. But other than that, I feel that in light of the trip to the finals (wherein everyone involved got a plum deal), he's been quite shrewd. The results of his drafting lately will begin to show most likely after this season, when Cowan, Karlsson, Wiercioch, O'Brian, Z. Smith, will have legitimate shots at making the NHL full time. Even more the year after.

    I'd really like to see the Sens develop a top line forward. Hopefully Silferberg or Petersson or Caporusso can really push themselves to become that player.
    TLCC said...
    I excluded Spezza because he wasn't really the result of the sens drafting it was a trade for Yashin.

    I was thinkin' about writing about the number of Russian draft picks we chose over those years but thought the article was long enough as is.

    The only thing that I'm against Murray is the NTC/NMC. The Kuba isn't as bad as fisher's because it's only one year. In all likelihood if Karlsson is on target to play next year we should be able to deal Kuba.
    Anonymous said...
    After checking through the 07-09 Draft in which Murray was GM, Murray drafted mostly Canadians, Americans, and Swedes. That's a step in the right direction.

    However, Murray did select one Russian, Ruslan Bashkirov. He looks promising if he leaves the KHL.
    Patrick said...
    Great article dude!!! Goes to show you that Murray has been stuck cleaning up Muckler mess. I think Murray has done an outstanding job since he took over as GM of the SENS
    hambown said...
    TLCC: true, I think BM has learned not to offer these wide ranging NMC/NTCs; we're only now seeing how much they are worth (a lot!)
    Anonymous said...
    Good post. Scary, but good.

    Anonymous said...
    Just in case anyone didn't know, at hockeybuzz, mark christopher has done a couple pieces talking about current sens propects and what the organization is hoping for.

    Anonymous said...
    On the comment of Murray's contract negotiations, the feeble state of the clubs assets because of Muckler had an affect here too. Murray had to re-sign existing players because we did not have assets in the system to replace them, and going the UFA route would have meant paying even more. So he had to resign Fisher, Kelly, etc from a position of weaknes until other assets are ready to jump (which we are starting to see.

    Also, how is it that Burke gets this 3-5 year window to rebuild the team, yet Murray is getting ripped last season with only 1 draft with his scouting staff? When Mucks left we could only call up Hamel & Hennessy - now look at our call up options up front and on D.

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