Circle May 10 on the calendar.
Circle May 10 on the calendar.
That’s the date the NHL has set for the 2022 draft lottery and the Ottawa Senators are hopeful this is the last time people in the nation’s capital will be gathered around their television to see where the club lands in the first round of the annual crapshoot.
The draw will take place at 6:30 pm EDT.
The NHL draft is set for July 7-8 at the Bell Center in Montreal and the Senators are scheduled to have 10 picks in seven rounds, including five in the first three, so it’s another important date on the schedule.
While the Senators were hoping to be a playoff contender this spring, a bout with COVID-19 that resulted in a 1-11-1 record in November, along with injuries to several key players, derailed those plans.
The club is preparing to make changes in the off-season to try to help Ottawa compete for a playoff spot next spring.
If the playoffs were to start today, the Senators would have the seventh-best odds to win the lottery. Arizona, Montreal, Philadelphia, Seattle, Chicago, Columbus and New Jersey are ranked ahead of the club. As it stands now, the Senators would have a 6.5 per cent chance of winning the No. 1 pick.
forward Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs is considered the top-ranked prospect. The 16 teams that miss the post-season will participate in the lottery. Last year, the Senators had the No. 10 overall selection and it was used to take forward Tyler Boucherwho is with the Ottawa 67’s.
Under new rules, only the top 11 teams in the lottery can move up to the No. 1 position in the draft. The most anyone can move up is 10 spots and the actual draw will take place at the NHL Network studios in Secaucus, NJ
The Senators could still climb in the standings depending on the results in the last five games, but with four points separating them from the Buffalo Sabers there’s a good chance Ottawa will stay where it’s at.
winger Adam Gaudette couldn’t hide his satisfaction.
He played only six shifts with four minutes and 29 seconds of ice time in 65 minutes against the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night at Rogers Arena, but the veteran winger scored the shootout winner in a 4-3 victory for the Senators.
The 25-year-old Gaudette started his career with the Canucks and spent parts of four seasons with Vancouver before being dealt during the 2020-21 campaign. He did n’t hide his excitement from him when he beat goaltender Thatcher Demko in the fifth round of the skills contest.
The loss will make it more difficult for the Canucks to make up ground in the Western Conference playoff race with only six games left.
“It felt good. It’s been a long time coming,” Gaudette said. “It was a great game overall, we played hard and we matched their energy in a must-win for them, and it was a good night. That’s a spot I want to be in and I know I can do it.
“It was good to prove I can be relied on in that situation. I had a move in mind, I stuck with it and it went in.”
thought coach DJ Smith was going to go to defenseman Artem Zub next assistant Davis Payne suggested Gaudette because I have spent a lot of time facing off against Demko in practice over the years.
“I thought he was going to be cheating a little more, to be honest,” said Gaudette. “I worked on that move a lot when I was here. I worked close with (goaltending coach) Ian Clarkwho sat me down, showed me some video on that type of move, so I had it in mind and I just stuck with it.
“I’ve been working on that move a lot over the past few years and it’s really getting comfortable for me. I know I have that opportunity to just go under the glove there and it worked out perfectly.”
GUS THE BUS
goaltender Filip Gustavson picked up his first NHL win since Nov. 13 with 34 stops in the victory over the Canucks.
Called up from Belleville, Gustavsson got off to a difficult start in the first period, but had a strong finish and kept his club in the game. It was his first NHL start for him since a loss to the Montreal Canadiens on March 19.
Gustavsson went into the game with eight straight losses in the NHL and had given up 34 goals with an .854 save percentage in that span. Gustavsson has a 4-11-1 record with an .898 save percentage and a 3.71 goals-against average.
The expectation is he’ll face the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night at home as the club wraps up a back-to-back series that begins Friday at Nationwide Arena against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
THE LAST WORDS
winger Zach Senyshyn, who played only 4:15 against the Canucks, was sent back to Belleville after suiting up in two games. The 25-year-old Ottawa native will be able to help the club in its run for the AHL post-season. This leaves the Senators short a forward, but the expectation is either injured forward Mathieu Joseph or center Colin White, after a bout with COVID-19, is ready to return. …Blueliner Travis Hamonic faced his former team for the first time since being dealt to the Senators at the NHL trade deadline March 20. Hamonic played 20 minutes and 42 seconds, plus he picked up his first point with an assist. … The victory in Vancouver was the 1,000th in Senators franchise history. Ottawa has gone 1,000-981-176, along with 115 ties, in 2,272 regular-season games since returning to the NHL in the 1992-93 campaign.