Dorion: '50-50' chance Senators make draft pick at 7th overall
With just one day until the 2022 NHL Draft, Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion is working the phones to try to upgrade his roster, and he continues to dangle the seventh overall pick as his primary piece of trade bait.
"I would put it about 50-50 right now, picking seventh," Dorion told TSN 1200 on Wednesday. "We got a few irons in the fire. ... I don't think you can expect anything probably until tomorrow closer to the draft. There's always a chance of moving up, moving down, trading the pick for someone we feel could have an impact in our lineup. So that's where we're looking."
Dorion said in May that he was open to trading the team's first-rounder for an "impact player" with some team control.
"There's been a lot of discussions about not just pick seven, but other picks that could possibly be in play," Dorion told reporters Wednesday. "It's no secret that we're trying to improve our team and bring players that have some kind of pedigree or experience into our lineup. Obviously, we've talked about pick seven as a possibility of being moved."
The Senators were seen as a logical destination for star winger Kevin Fiala, whom the Minnesota Wild dealt to the Los Angeles Kings last week. Chicago Blackhawks sniper Alex DeBrincat is widely considered the best player on the trade block, and the two-time 40-goal scorer would fit the bill as a young, controllable impact player.
Ottawa has made seven first-round picks in the last four years, including four in the top 10. The club is loaded with prospects and young players, but it hasn't finished better than sixth in its division since 2016-17.
Aided by Tuesday's buyout of Colin White, the Senators have $27 million in projected cap space, per CapFriendly. Josh Norris, Alex Formenton, Mathieu Joseph, and Erik Brannstrom are all restricted free agents in need of new contracts, but there's ample room to make a splash if Dorion can swing a deal.