by Todd Anderson
Just a handful of days after being named the seventh general manager in Ottawa Senators history, Bryan Murray will build towards the future this weekend at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
As head coach with the Sens over the last three seasons, Murray has a good idea of what type of players the team needs. He says the quick turnaround from coach to GM will not interfere with his ability to help choose top-notch prospects and he'll meet with scouts to ensure everyone is on the same page.
"I think every general manager, for the most part in this league, allows their amateur scouts to do their job," Murray says. "I talked to (director of amateur scouting) Frank Jay and (amateur scout) Bob Janecyk. They'll participate as they would have with anyone in charge. I will sit with (the club's amateur scouts) and tell them my philosophy on drafting and they will hopefully have the opportunity to draft a player in the first round that fits that."
As Stanley Cup finalists during the 2006-07 season, the Senators will have the 29th pick. Despite having one of the last selections in the first round, the Senators are confident they'll draft a talented player with their selection.
Last year the Sens selected Nick Foligno with the 28th pick, and the gritty forward went on to a productive 2006-07 season with the Sudbury Wolves. As alternate captain, he was one of the leaders on the team that captured a spot in the Ontario Hockey League championship series.
At the 2003 draft, the Sens selected forward Patrick Eaves with the 29th pick. Eaves scored 20 goals in 58 games in his rookie season with Ottawa in 2005-06.
Defenceman Andrej Meszaros was selected 23rd in 2004 and has already emerged as a regular on the Sens blueline. Fellow defenceman Brian Lee was selected ninth by Ottawa in 2005.
Along with focusing on the draft this weekend, Murray will also assess his scouting staff.
"I'll spend a couple of days in Columbus talking to them," Murray says. "At the end of the day, I hope we have the right people in place and we go forward with them.
"I hope they don't all share my opinions. I like lots of discussion and debate on what fits and what doesn't fit. I hope we make the right decisions based on the information we come up with together."