November 31-in-31: Ottawa Senators

Tony Ferrari


Photo courtesy of Icethetics


Typically a summer series, the November 31-in-31 series is taking place of the annual July 31-in-31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic pushing the NHL season back to the summer, making for an atypical fall offseason. The November edition of the series will focus on the 2020 NHL Draft and the team’s off-season acquisitions through free agency and trades and how they affect the development paths for the team’s prospects. December will feature part two of the 31-in-31 series and focus on the team’s depth charts, fantasy outlook, and begin to look at how the roster will shakedown when the next NHL season starts. 


The Ottawa Senators were blessed by the “Hockey Gods” coming into the 2020 NHL Draft. Things seemed to be breaking right for the team in the Canadian capital. The Senators successfully tanked and finished second from the bottom of the league with only the historically bad Detroit Red Wings finishing lower. Ottawa was also gifted with another top-five pick as the San Jose Sharks imploded this season, finished just one point ahead of Ottawa for third-worst in the NHL. This was important because the Senators owned the Sharks first-rounder after the Erik Karlsson trade just prior to the 2018-19 season. The icing on the cake came when the Senators acquired a third first-round pick when they sent Jean-Gabriel Pageau to the New York Islanders prior to the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline.  


With three first-round picks, along with four second-rounders and 12 total picks over the two-day event, The Ottawa Senators had a chance to alter the path of the franchise for years to come. The prospect of adding seven prospects in the top-62 picks would have made any scout or talent evaluator salivate. The added bonus was the fact that the 2020 crop of talent was considered quite strong at the top with some real quality depth in terms of players with high-upside despite some flaws. It was an enticing class overall and the Senators went into the day with all the ammo needed to take not just one step, but three or four, in the right direction.  


“And then what happened?” – Almost everyone


Draft Picks and Analysis


3rd Overall, Round 1: C/W Tim Stützle – Adler Mannheim (DEL)


When draft day began, the Senators knew they were going to select either Quinton Byfield or Tim Stützle. With the Kings selection of Byfield at number two, Stützle fell into the Senators laps and they made the pick in style. The recently passed Alex Trebek came onto our screens in his ever so welcoming way, announcing and greeting the newest Senator with what was one of the two best moments of the first round. Rest in Peace Alex Trebek.