No matter how many times Ottawa Senators' General Manager Pierre Dorion will say the 5th overall pick is “99% going to be kept”, that remaining 1% is what we all love to latch onto. We love to grab onto these ‘what ifs.’ Today, let’s discuss what could potentially allow the Senators to think about trading out of the 5th overall pick of the 2020 draft.
Dorion fanned the flames on Friday when he said, "We’ll see what happens at the 4th pick and decide accordingly."
To me, this indicates there has been some discussion about trading the 5th overall pick. Likely, they’re locked onto a player and their plan relies on the first four picks going accordingly.
Dorion has mentioned he has had a couple of mock drafts with various scenarios if things go awry. So what could happen to make the Senators decide to trade the 5th overall pick?
Let’s break down the first five picks and what could potentially happen at the draft:
1) The Senators are dialed in for the first three picks. This is a no brainer; Alexis Lafrenière and a combination of Tim Stutzle and Quinton Byfield are going 1, 2 and 3. The big unknown for Ottawa, it seems, is what Detroit will do at 4.
2) At 4, Detroit is the wild card in the Senators plan. Steve Yzerman is not known for following the usual path at the draft. Yzerman could go off the board and get goalie Yaroslav Askarov. Yzerman could surprise everyone and go with the logical pick of Jamie Drysdale. To me, both scenarios work for the Senators to stay the course; their targeted player not yet chosen.
3) If Drysdale is picked, Ottawa is set to pick winger Lucas Raymond who's a mix of Mitch Marner and Artemi Panarin. This is the player that I think the Senators really want at number 5.
4) Let’s say Raymond gets picked by Detroit. This makes both Drysdale and Sanderson available, and this is where I feel Ottawa could end up with a better player by taking one of the defensemen. But is this really a pressing matter for the Senators organization? James Duthie from TSN pressed Dorion last week on positional need, asking if centre and goaltending were their biggest needs. Dorion skirted the question by saying every position is a need. I’m more in Duthie’s camp that the Senators don’t necessarily need more defensemen right now.
If that’s the case, you could skip picking both Drysdale and Sanderson (ranked 4th and 6th in the mock draft) and trade down to 7th or 10th pick overall, depending on how worried they are about other teams targeting the player they plan to draft with their second selection. The 5th overall pick moves to Team B for their first round pick and another asset and the Sens still get the player they wanted all along.
The entire premise of trading the 5th overall pick comes down to what Detroit does at number 4. I fully believe Lucas Raymond is their target; he says the Sens have interviewed him more than any other team, a good indicator that the team is really interested. Let’s also not forget how the Senators are fond of Swedish players.
If Raymond isn't there, it wouldn't be surprsing to see the Senators trade out of 5 for a useful player and a slightly lower first round pick and then use that pick to grab highly touted goalie prospect Yaroslav Askarov and potentially solidify a hole in the goaltender position for the next 10 years.
Now if only we had a crystal ball...