During the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the Ottawa Senators made six selections. General manager Pierre Dorion made two draft-day trades. The Senators, who have had eyebrows raised at some of their picks in the past, gave us perhaps the biggest shock of the draft.
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Tyler Boucher, RW, USA U18-NTDP (Round 1, Pick 10)
Zack Ostapchuk, C, Vancouver-WHL (Round 2, Pick 39)
Ben Roger, D, London-OHL (Round 2, Pick 49)
Oliver Johansson, LW, Timra-HockeyAllsvenskan (Round 3, Pick 74)
Carson Latimer, RW, Edmonton-WHL (Round 4, Pick 123)
Chandler Romeo, D, Brantford, GOJHL (Round 7, Pick 202)
The shock comes with the 10th overall selection of Boucher. Boucher was projected by many to go in the second round, and certainly not as one of the first 10 players selected. Many of the other prospects the Senators drafted were also considered to be drafted higher than expected by many experts.
Best Pick: Tyler Boucher
He may have been drafted a lot higher than expected, but when looking at the rest of the Senators’ draft class, Boucher was by far the best pick. The biggest asset of his game is on the physical side. He also has a lot of size, which certainly helps this part of his game standing at 6’1″ and weighing in at 205 lbs. Out of all the Senators’ picks, he certainly has the most upside, and they clearly see greatness in him.
Worst Pick: Zack Ostapchuk
Ostapchuk was a pick that also definitely raised some eyebrows. A player that was projected by many to not go until at least the fourth round, Ostapchuk, like many of his fellow picks, has a big frame standing at 6’3″ and weighing in at 198 lbs. He can also control the puck well, but there are facets of his game that definitely need some work, especially in the defensive zone.
Sleeper Pick: Ben Roger
While Roger is a player who experts also deemed “overdrafted”, he was unable to show his potential last year due to there not being an Ontario Hockey League (OHL) season. In a lot of ways, Roger could be the definition of a risk-reward pick. Considering Ottawa has been able to develop several NHL-caliber defensemen, such as Thomas Chabot and Artem Zub, Roger could end up being the best pick of this draft class in a few years.
Ottawa drafted an interesting class in 2021, there’s no doubt about it. As previously mentioned, most of their prospects were drafted much higher than initially mocked. It’s clear that the Senators trusted their scouting department. As a result, the team went with the picks that they felt good about instead of taking the best player available. This class will certainly be examined with a close microscope, but it will have to be a wait-and-see game to see what Ottawa has in these picks.
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