With the NHL Scouting Combine in the books, the prognosticators over at NHL.com have released their latest predictions for the first round of the 2019 Draft which includes some options for the Senators with the 19th overall selection.
NHL.com writers Adam Kimelman, Mike G. Morreale and Guillaume Lepage were split when it came to the Senators' first round selection and provided a few different possibilities for Ottawa...
Kimelman - Victor Soderstrom, D, Brynas (SWE): The right-shot defenseman has a calmness and maturity to his game that has impressed scouts. He skates the puck well, has an emerging offensive game, and his hockey IQ helps him be in the right position defensively to break up plays.
Morreale - Ryan Suzuki, C, Barrie (OHL): One of the smartest players in the Ontario Hockey League, Suzuki was named best playmaker in the Eastern Conference Coaches Poll. He has good straightaway speed to break away from defenders and can make quick decisions at top speed.
Lepage - Thomas Harley, D, Mississauga (OHL): The Senators have plenty of good young forwards and have their top defense pair of the future in Erik Brannstrom and Thomas Chabot. The very reliable Harley eventually would fight right in with this young group.
On defence, Soderstrom has seen his stock rise recently when he jumped from #5 to #3 on NHL Central Scouting's latest overall list for European skaters following a solid rookie campaign in the Swedish Hockey League. In 44 games with Brynäs IF, the 18-year-old defenceman showcased some of his offensive potential by compiling 4 goals and 3 assists.
Suzuki has been lauded as one of the more skilled prospects available this year and could add some prospect depth to the Senators down the middle. "One of the top playmaking centers available in the draft," said Morreale. "Suzuki possesses great hockey sense, is effective at making plays at top speed and can make good decisions under pressure."
As their #1 defenceman, Harley played big minutes for Mississauga this season in the OHL and finished third on the Steelheads in scoring with 58 points in 68 games (also good for the team lead among defenders). "He may have some defensive flaws," shared Lepage. "But with his size, reach and strong skating, Harley is brimming with potential."
The 2019 NHL Draft will take place in Vancouver from June 21-22 where the Senators currently hold 7 selections, including 3 picks between #19 and #44.
Looking for more Draft predictions? You can check out their entire first round mock draft here.
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