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Draft Outlook: Could Sens and Habs make deals?

TSN.ca Staff

6/18/2008 11:43:30 AM

With the NHL Entry Draft being held at Scotiabank Place and Bryan Murray's history of making shrewd trades, the hosting Ottawa Senators are expected to make a big splash in Friday's NHL Entry Draft.

In the nation's capital, there are plenty of reports and rumours that the Senators would like to trade up and get a Top 10 pick. However, the asking price for such a pick will be very steep.

Not only does Murray have to swap the team's own pick (18th overall), but he would also have to include a roster player. If he's able to secure such a deal, he will likely go after a defenceman who can contribute in the upcoming season.

Six of the top 10 North American skaters in this year's talent pool are blueliners, and the team has used five of their first-rounders on defencemen, including Wade Redden, Chris Phillips, Anton Volchenkov, Andrej Mezsaros and Brian Lee.

Historically, the draft has been the Senators' bread and butter. Of the 15 picks they have had between 1992 and 2006, only one player - goaltender Mathieu Chouinard - has never played in the National Hockey League.   

Senators' 2008 selection - 18th
Bob McKenzie's 18th ranked prospect - G Chet Pickard
Notable picks at No. 18 (1997 - 2006): D Dmitri Kalinin, D Brooks Orpik, D Denis Grebeshkov, F Kyle Chipchura

The downside to the Montreal Canadiens finishing first in the Eastern Conference is that they won't get to pick until the 25th spot in Friday's NHL Entry Draft.

But given how much success they've had in identifying, selecting and developing their draft choices, it probably won't be much of an issue.

For the last seven years, the Canadiens have picked gems like Mike Komisarek, Christopher Higgins, Andrei Kostitsyn and Carey Price - all of whom have made significant contributions to the team this season and will continue to do so for years to come. Given that dynamic young core of talent - along with other home-grown players like Sergei Kostitsyn, Ryan O'Byrne, Jaroslav Halak, Maxim Lapierre and Mikhail Grabovski - the Canadiens will likely go with the best player available when their turn comes around.

When you break it down by position, they're stacked in goal and on defence. If they're looking for an impact forward, general manager Bob Gainey will go via free agency or a trade.

Canadiens' 2008 selection - 25th
Bob McKenzie's 25th ranked prospect - C Nicolas Deschamps
Notable picks at No. 25 (1997 - 2006): F Brenden Morrow, D Jiri Fischer, F Steve Ott, F Alexander Perezhogin, G Cam Ward, F Andrew Cogliano