The Ottawa Senators won't draft a top-five pick on July 8, but their seventh overall selection could serve as a bargaining chip to improve their offense.
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In a post published in the last few days in the Ottawa Sun, columnist Bruce Garrioch reports that general manager Pierre Dorion could use his first-round pick and a young prospect to add a forward to the top six of his club, ideally on Tim Stützle's trio.
“A check with a few league executives on Wednesday indicated that the Senators will have options if they want to trade the No. 7 pick, but they may have to give a candy with a hope to get the return they want” , reported the seasoned scribe.
According to Garrioch, Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala, author of 33 goals and 85 points with the Minnesota Wild in the regular season before disappearing from the map in the playoffs, could be a player who interests the “Sens”.
The 25-year-old Swiss will become a restricted free agent and will be eligible for arbitration this summer.
The team will draft at the 24th echelon and this selection could be part of a trade.
Garrioch adds that the New Jersey Devis and New York Islanders could be added to a list of teams in the running for Fiala's services.
Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald has already indicated he will listen to offers to part with the second overall pick in a bid to improve his roster.
Several teams are grappling with payroll problems, caused by a ceiling that has not increased for three years and which will only increase by $1 million in 2022-2023.
Other organizations, like the Chicago Blackhawks, would be willing to divest some impact players to claim a first-round pick.