Dorion open to trading Senators' 1st-round pick for 'impact player'
Prior to the 2021-22 campaign, Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said "the rebuild is done" and "it's time to start winning." Now, after another year of missing the playoffs, it appears he's putting matters into his own hands.
Dorion said Wednesday that he's willing to trade the seventh overall pick in the upcoming draft if it nets an "impact player."
"I think we got to look at everything," Dorion told TSN 1200 when asked if the team's first-round pick is in play.
He added: "Maybe this is the year that we move pick seven to get an impact player that can help us right away. We're not going to get a guy that's a pending (unrestricted free agent) in a year's time. I don't think that would be really smart for us to do. But if we can get a guy that we know we will have some control over for more than a few years, that's something we'd definitely look at."
The Senators have made seven first-round picks in the last four years, including four in the top 10. The organization is ripe with prospects and young talent, but the club has yet to get over the hump. Ottawa hasn't finished better than sixth in its division since 2016-17.
"It's no secret that we have a lot of good young players," Dorion added. "But adding an impact player, someone that can help us get to that next level, that's something we would definitely look at."
Dorion said the Sens' needs include a top-four defenseman and depth and scoring up front.
Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala is one player that fits the bill. The 25-year-old restricted free agent recorded 33 goals and 52 assists this past season. However, Wild GM Bill Guerin recently said he was unsure if Minnesota could re-sign Fiala due to the team's cap crunch.
The Senators have several RFAs to re-sign, including Josh Norris, Alex Formenton, Mathieu Joseph, and Erik Brannstrom, but the club projects to have over $23 million in cap space available, per CapFriendly.