It’s go time… Draft 2011

Since the Sens started their free fall in late 2010 today’s draft has been pegged as the most anticipated day in recent memory.  Unfortunately, as a result of the team’s late season resurgence, which was both pointless and infuriating, any reasonable chance at a top 3 pick evaporated.

So now, Murray & Co. are looking more at a Ryan Strome / Sean Couturier and not so much Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or the beloved Gabriel Landeskog (aka The Skog).

In an attempt to move up, Murray apparently made “considerable offers” to all the teams above the Sens in the draft…no takers so far.

Other Sens draft rumours include Murray potentialyl making a move for Gaborik:

But at least one intriguing name — New York Rangers winger Marian Gaborik — was attached to the Senators in trade talks.

Gaborik, 29, has scored 42 goals in an NHL season twice and has topped 30 goals six times, but his career with both the Rangers and Minnesota Wild has been plagued by injury problems and questions about his character. Considering he has three years and $22.5 million US remaining on his contract, it would be a big risk for any team to take a chance on him, even if the Rangers were willing to take salary back in exchange.

The Senators likely wouldn’t have any interest unless the Rangers took defenceman Filip Kuba, who has one year and $3.7 million remaining on his deal with the Senators. Senators general manager Bryan Murray didn’t address Gaborik specificially Thursday, but did acknowledge that the team is exploring the possibility of trading for a top-six forward.

As a reminder, here is the ISS top 10 ranked prospects for tonight’s draft:

  1. Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan – Red Deer
  2. Larsson, Adam – Skelleftea
  3. Landeskog, Gabriel – Kitchener
  4. Couturier, Sean – Drummondville
  5. Murphy, Ryan – Kitchener
  6. Biggs, Tyler – US U-18
  7. Strome, Ryan – Niagara
  8. Siemens, Duncan – Saskatoon
  9. Hamilton, Douglas – Niagara
  10. Jensen, Nicklas – Oshawa

TSN’s mock draft produced the following results:

  1. Larsson, Adam – Skelleftea
  2. Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan – Red Deer
  3. Landeskog, Gabriel – Kitchener
  4. Huberdeau, Jonathan – Saint John
  5. Strome, Ryan – Niagara
  6. Couturier, Sean – Drummondville
  7. Hamilton, Douglas – Niagara
  8. Murphy, Ryan – Kitchener
  9. Brodin, Jonas – Farjestads
  10. Bartschi, Sven – Portland

The draft starts at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on TSN

Assuming Skog, RNH, Larsson and Huberdeau are all gone, who do you think the Sens should draft in the six spot?