There has been some talk that the class of 2012 for the NHL Draft is not as strong as it’s been in other years.
Nonsense, says Ottawa Senators director of player personnel Pierre Dorion.
"I think it’s a good draft class,” Dorion told NHL.com on Wednesday at the NHL Scouting Combine. “At the top, like every draft, there are some good players. I think sometimes because there’s a better quality of defensemen than forwards, people tend to say that it’s not as good of a draft class because you don’t see the offensive production.”
Indeed, eight of the top 12 North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking are defensemen, while nine of the top 18 European skaters play on the blue line.
Dorion doesn’t quite understand why that should be a bad thing.
“Good defensemen help you win games,” he said with a grin, “so I still think it will be a pretty good draft.”
Dorion and his scouting staff are in a remarkably different position compared with last year, when a series of trades saw the Senators wind up with three first-round picks, including their own selection at No. 6.
This year, the Senators select 15th and don’t own a second-round selection. Dorion admits that does change the mindset for the team. At that spot, Dorion feels the Senators can still land themselves a player who will eventually slot into their top six up front or top four on defense.
Unless, of course, every other team drafting before them has the exact same list as the Senators.
“We really like 14 guys,” said the holder of the 15th pick. “Ninety-nine percent of the time, you’ll get one of those 14 guys.”