It may not have been exactly what fans were expecting or hoping for in a lot of cases but in the end, the Ottawa Senators got their guy.
The Senators took Brady Tkachuk at fourth overall and clearly Pierre Dorion and his staff are thrilled with how it all played out.
Internally, they had serious concerns that the Montreal Canadiens would take Tkachuk at 3rd overall but when they went with the centre Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Dorion’s decision was an easy one. In fact, it sounded like if the Habs had gone with Tkachuk, Ottawa was still at least partly considering handing the pick over to the Avalanche.
It became a slam dunk when Tkachuk was still on the board. Reaction among fans was predictably mixed. As it always is on Draft day.
This selection was especially polarizing because the Senators had a chance to take Filip Zadina, who was listed as the third best prospect on most lists heading into draft night.
While his upside is obviously there, something about his game caused him to slide a little bit on draft night.? Montreal, Ottawa and Arizona all left him on the board to the surprise of many.
In Tkachuk, the Senators are getting a player that is the complete package.
Good skater, strong playmaker, a willingness to go to the high-traffic areas and a healthy dose of energy, grit and character.? As Trent Mann put it, “he drags you into the fight, whether you want to be there or not”. While that edge is absolutely an important part of his game, much like his father Keith and brother Matthew, it is by no means the only thing he brings to the table.
It will take precisely one preseason shift for Brady Tkachuk to be a fan favourite in Ottawa. He’s that type of player. And actually, he may have already reached that status on his interviews alone.
This is a guy that’s clearly pumped to be here and pumped to be a Senator. Considering all the drama around this team lately, that’s certainly refreshing.
Later in the first round, the Senators added Jacob Bernard-Docker, a slick skating, puck-moving defenceman out of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
He too was viewed as a bit of a surprise at 26th overall but after reading some of the scouting reports, it’s pretty easy to see why the Senators liked him as a late first rounder.
Ottawa had already traded back once (from 22nd to 26th), adding a second round pick in the process. Dorion wanted to do it again before making the selection at 26th but his scouts were excited about Bernard-Docker and were worried someone else might grab him.
Here’s a look at Ottawa’s day two selections
2nd (48th overall)- Defence- Jonathan Tychonick
Of all the selections the Senators made on Day Two of the Draft, and day one for that matter, Tychonick seemed to be the most universally praised. Another defenceman headed to the University of North Dakota, Tychonick is a friend and likely defence partner of first round selection Jacob Bernard-Docker.? It seems pretty clear that the Senators had a plan with these two picks. Tychonick is a smooth-skating defenceman with high-end puck moving ability. He has also been described as a bit of a fitness freak. Ottawa’s system is in desperate need of some skilled defenceman and they definitely have one in Tychonick.
4th (95th overall)- Centre- Jonathan Gruden
A two-way centre with some offensive upside, Gruden spent last season playing with the United States National Team Development Program. There he had 34 points in 25 games as a Junior and another 60 points in 61 games the U18 team. Bob McKenzie had him ranked as the 74th best prospect and watching his highlights, it’s easy to see why. He’s a little on the smaller side but he always seems to find a way to get to the high-traffic areas and finish in tight. Gruden has committed to Miami (Ohio) in the NCAA next year.
5th (126th overall)- Left Winger- Angus Crookshank
6th (157th)- Goalie- Kevin Mandolese
7th (188th)- Left Wing- Jakov Novak
7th (194th)- Right Wing- Luke Loheit