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No. 16 looking sweet for Senators

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
So it won't be Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin.

But that doesn't mean the Ottawa Senators won't be able to mine a gem of their own with the 16th pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, set for June 25-26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

With their pre-draft scouting list virtually complete, the Senators are convinced they'll be able to land an impact player with their selection in the middle of the draft's first round.

"I think it's going to be a tremendous draft," Pierre Dorion, the Senators' director of player personnel, said in a radio interview with the Team 1200. "We're going to get a good player at 16. We feel very confident. We probably have 17 guys that we like, so we can't say that whoever we get (with our first pick) we weren't expecting to get."

While Hall and Seguin — the consensus top two players in what is being termed a deep draft — are already budding superstars who should play immediately with their future National Hockey League teams, the Senators figure to land a player who won't be ready to step in right away. But they firmly believe the wait will be worth it, no matter whom they land with the No. 16 selection.

"We feel we're going to get a top (six) forward or a top four defenceman at the end of the day," said Dorion. "It won't be next year but within the next few years, we feel we're going to get that."

The Senators and their fans need to look no further for evidence of that than the impact made this season by defenceman Erik Karlsson, the No. 15 overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft held at Scotiabank Place. By the end of the 2009-10 season, he grew into a player that head coach Cory Clouston used extensively, including significant power-play duty.

While Dorion and the Senators staff had plenty of opportunity to meet face-to-face with a number of prospects during last week's NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto. their work isn't quite done yet. Dorion said the Senators plan to bring "five or six more guys" to Ottawa in the weeks leading up the draft, just to make sure all their bases have been covered.

"We feel pretty confident we're going to get a good player for the Ottawa Senators down the road," he said with an eye toward the draft.

The Senators also have picks in the third (76th overall), fourth (106th), sixth (161st) and seventh (196th) rounds of the 2010 draft.

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