Senators mulling options on what to do with traded 2018 first-round pick

The panel looks at the upcoming contract negotiations for Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews, and the Sedin twins potentially retiring and what their timeline is.

When the Ottawa Senators acquired Matt Duchene and traded away Kyle Turris in a blockbuster three-team deal with the Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche in November, they sent their 2018 first-round pick to the Mile High City.

That pick, however, was top-10 protected and it gives the Sens the option to send Colorado a 2019 first-round pick instead. Since the Sens are currently 30th in the league standings, general manager Pierre Dorion and his staff will have a decision to make.

As Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston pointed out Saturday during the Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada, even if the Sens were to win their final four games of the regular season and miss out on the three lottery selections at April 28’s NHL Draft Lottery, the lowest that protected pick would fall to would be the No. 9 selection.

If the Sens were to win one of the lotteries and finish with a top-three pick, it would likely be an easy decision for Dorion to keep the pick. The further that pick falls, the more difficult the decision becomes.

“The feeling is the Senators will use most of the time they have left here,” Johnston said. “They’re going to wait until the draft lottery next month to meet with their scouts, to assess what that top 10 looks like, and an interesting aspect of this trade is that they have right until June 22 on the draft floor to shift it. They might wait almost that long because they really want to make sure they’re making the right decision about where they end up.”

If Ottawa were to keep the pick, Colorado would automatically get the Sens’ 2019 first rounder, regardless of where they sit in the standings.

In addition to the potential top-10 selection, the Sens also have Pittsburgh’s 2018 first-round pick that they acquired when they traded Derick Brassard to the Penguins.

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