With the NHL draft lottery now partially set, the Ottawa Senators third overall pick options are in the hands of their scouts. Going into the lottery night, the Senators had the best chance at landing the first overall pick. A whopping 25 percent chance when you combined their own first-round pick, and the San Jose Sharks first-rounder.
Unfortunately, it’s called a lottery for a reason and the system once again showed why nothing is promised. After some confusion about who will actually hold the first overall pick, the Ottawa Senators landed picks three and five.
Looking at the Ottawa Senators Draft Options
What the Ottawa Senators Third Overall Pick Means
The Ottawa Senators third overall pick carries a large amount of value for the organization and what their future may entail. History shows the last third overall pick the organization ever had was Radek Bonk in 1994.
The closest the team has gotten to the third overall pick since was in 2018 when they were picking at fourth overall and selected Brady Tkachuk.
Solid prospects and rookies are something that the Ottawa Senators might be getting accustomed to, but the options available in the next Ottawa Senators draft will only heighten that threat.
Option #1: Quinton Byfield
At just 17-years-old, Quinton Byfield lit the lamp in his second OHL season. He spent the year with the Sudbury Wolves recording 82 points in 45 games. For a player at such a young age to run up the scoring sheet like that, it’s clear to see why he’s such an interest. Besides his fantastic numbers, he also has some size to him. He’s 6’4″ and 214 pounds.
Fans are probably wondering right off the bat why Byfield might even be available. Many Draft Rankings have Byfield as the uncontested second-overall pick. But lucky for Ottawa, many rumours have linked consensus-third-overall pick Tim Stützle to the Los Angeles Kings, who hold the second overall selection. Stuzle is older and much more NHL-ready than Byfield, even if Byfield will be better in the long run. Still, that NHL-readiness is very appealing to a Kings team that’s hoping to compete soon.
This scenario leaves Byfield wide-open at third overall. The Senators know what they need in this draft: a centre who can do it all. Quinton Byfield matches exactly that for the Ottawa Senators. The Ottawa Senators have been relatively decent at picking up wingers in previous drafts, but the club clearly needs a star centre heading into their hopeful future. It’s almost the final piece for the organization to finally put it all together once and for all.
Byfield has at least one year left in the CHL simply thanks to the league’s rules. The Senators would have no problem waiting, though. After all, they finished second-to-last in the 2019-20 regular season, no one expects them to do a 180 heading into next year. Patience is a virtue in this case, and Byfield’s game would benefit even more from it. He is clearly a player of interest for the Ottawa Senators, and if he’s still available at number three, he will undoubtedly go to Ottawa.
Option #2: Tim Stützle
Of course, there’s a very real chance Byfield does end up getting selected at second. He boasts an amazing skillset and even better size at only 17 years of age. If Quinton Byfield does get picked up at the number two spot, the Senators have another great option left: Tim Stützle. At just 18-years-old, Stützle is coming off a great season from the DEL league in Germany. He finished his 2019-20 campaign with 34 points in 41 games, playing in a very tough and veteran presence league.
Thankfully, Stützle seems to be even more competent of a centre than Byfield. As mentioned, he’s faced much stronger competition than is offered in the OHL. Despite that, he offered just as strong of an offensive punch, while offering a great defensive punch. He was a star in the DEL, even when overlooking his age.
Stützle adds to the organizations plethora of skilled forwards they have. But for a team that looks to be headed in the right direction, this would be a great problem. If anything, Stützle will most likely be in the same boat as Byfield by not starting in year one. Again, this would never be an issue for the Senators. But even then, some expect Stützle to be NHL-ready by 2020-21.
A player like him is guaranteed to bring everything to the table if all goes well. He has great speed, and his hands can keep up with his feet. The Senators would be making an odd decision by not taking Stützle if he’s available. He’s simply the best choice.
The Last Word On The Possible Selection
This Ottawa Senators draft is huge for the organization. The team is looking to get out of the basement in the near future and be a possible contender. The first step is hitting bullseyes at this draft. Whoever ends up being available at the three-spot will turn out to be a great player.
In whatever direction the Senators take in this draft, they better realize that this is a deep draft and they have loads of opportunities. Pierre Dorion has made it clear that he wants his team to excel in the future and it all starts with a great draft night.