Ottawa Senators

Chiarelli thinks Oilers will probably add a goalie before draft

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The Edmonton Oilers have captured headlines recently with their changes to their scouting department. If general manager Peter Chiarelli is right, the next big story involving Edmonton might involve the squad acquiring a goaltender.

“My guess is we’ll probably be able to do something before the draft,” Chiarelli told the Edmonton Sun. “But I’m not completely sure.

“At the end of the day it takes two to tango so you have to have the right deal in place. But I’m not averse to going to the free agent market, either.”

He noted that getting a goaltender is a bit of a buyers market as there are several noteworthy netminders on the block. It’s believed that the New York Rangers want to move Cam Talbot, the Ottawa Senators need to trade Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner, and the Vancouver Canucks are open to dealing Eddie Lack.

The fact that Edmonton controls six of the first 86 selections in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft should also help its ability to secure a goaltender in the coming days.

That being said, if the Oilers don’t trade for a netminder, there will likely be options available to them on the open market. Antti Niemi, Jhonas Enroth, and Devan Dubnyk are among those that might test the free agent waters.

Get to know a draft pick — Oliver Kylington

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Like we’ve done in the past, we’re profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Friday in the first round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. But this year, something new — we’re featuring special guest analysis from former Minnesota Wild scout Mark Seidel, who currently serves as the president of North American Central Scouting.

Oliver Kylington (D)

Height: 6’0 Weight: 185 Shoots: Left

Team: AIK IF (Allsvenskan)

Country: Sweden

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 6 among International Skaters

What kind of player is he?

A two-way, puck moving defender blessed with good skill and skating ability, Kylington is high on talent but played to mixed reviews this season. After struggling at the start of the year with SHL club Farjestad, the 18-year-old was loaned out to second-tier club AIK for the remainder of the campaign.

In January, an injury kept him from representing Team Sweden at the 2015 World Juniors.

Despite those setbacks, scouts remain high on Kylington heading into the draft. His speed and playmaking skills figure to translate well to the current NHL, where there’s a premium on blueliners that can move pucks quickly out of the defensive zone.

Seidel says:

“Kylington has been on the radar of NHL scouts for a couple years because of his exceptional skating and offensive skills. Unfortunately, he went through inconsistent stretches this season that caused concern among some teams. His calling card in the NHL will be offense, and he’ll use his foot speed to support and occasionally lead the rush.

“His overall effectiveness will be determined by whether he can become a little more committed in the defensive end — but we feel confident that, as he gets older and stronger, Kylington will become a solid contributor.”

NHL comparable: Erik Karlsson/Kris Letang

For more 2015 NHL Draft profiles, click here.

What noteworthy players might get moved at the draft?

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June 26th is the day that Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel will finally be drafted, but that’s not all that will happen. Each year there are typically some major trades made just before or during the draft. In that spirit, here are some of the popular candidates to be moved this time around:

Phil Kessel — Toronto is looking to go in a new direction and it seems likely that will involve Kessel finding a new home. The big question though is if Toronto can get what it would consider fair value for him. Toronto is reportedly willing to take on a contract to make his $8 million cap hit through 2021-22 more palatable, but it would still be difficult for many contending teams to take him on. At the same time, Kessel has five 30-plus goal seasons under his belt and has reached the 80-point mark on two occasions. He doesn’t have much playoff experience, but he has scored 13 goals and 21 points in 23 postseason games.

Patrick Sharp — Chicago has had to part ways with a lot of talented players over the last several years in order to stay under the cap. The Blackhawks once again have cap issues after winning its third Stanley Cup in six years. They might be able to address it without moving Sharp, but he’ll be 34 years old in December and he has two more years with a $5.9 million cap hit, so now might be the time to move him from a value perspective. Speaking of which:

It would be surprising to see Chicago get that, but this might also be a case of the Blackhawks starting the bidding high so they have something to work down from.

Cam Talbot — In two seasons with the Rangers, Talbot has a 2.00 GAA and .931 save percentage in 51 games. That’s made him the ideal understudy, but it also means that the Rangers aren’t likely to retain his services when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2016. With that in mind, it would make sense for New York to move him now, especially seeing as there’s reportedly considerable interest in him. As Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman noted, Talbot isn’t eligible to sign an extension until Jan. 1, 2016, which means any team acquiring him will have an increased risk of watching him walk as a free agent. That might hurt the Rangers’ return a bit.

Kyle Okposo — He is a recent addition to the rumor mill as Newsday’s sources said that he could be on the trading block. Okposo only has a year left on his contract and while he currently comes with an affordable $2.8 million cap hit, he’s due for a big raise after recording 120 points in 131 games over the last two seasons. Still the Islanders have cap space to spare and they’re only now emerging as serious contenders, so it would be surprising to see them turn around and trade Okposo this summer. He certainly wouldn’t be the first player moved to catch people off guard though.

Craig Anderson/Robin Lehner — When the Ottawa Senators decided to sign Andrew Hammond to a three-year extension, it all-but guaranteed that they would move a goaltender this summer. The only question is which one. Lehner is just 23 years old (24 in July) and is locked in for two more years at roughly $2.2 million. That would be a pretty good deal if he lived up to his potential, but he’s had a rough couple of years. Anderson was the better netminder in 2014-15, but the fact that he’s 34 years old and still has three years left on his contract at $4.2 million per might give other general managers pause.

This shouldn’t be taken as a complete list, just a sampling of some of the more interesting cases.

After remarkable finish, Cameron focusing on Senators’ start

Dave Cameron knows what the Ottawa Senators did last season was a remarkable story for a reason.

It’s just not very often that a hockey team goes 24-4-4 in its last 32 games, erasing a 14-point deficit to make the playoffs.

As such, Cameron — armed with a two-year contract extension — would, next season, like to avoid the kind of start that put the Sens in such a deep hole this past one.

“As exciting as that run was, you’re not going to be able to duplicate that under too many circumstances and we don’t want to try and be in that position,” Cameron said, per the Canadian Press“Our start is going to be important and what goes into a start is obviously a good training camp.”

The young Sens have plenty of room to improve. If not for the goaltending they received from unlikely hero Andrew Hammond, they’d have been hard-pressed to do what they did. Puck-possession wise, they were simply average.

In a related story, with Hammond signed through 2017-18, the Sens are expected to trade one of Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner.

Ottawa had the NHL’s fourth-best team save percentage (.921) in 2014-15, behind only the Canadiens (.926), Blackhawks (.925) and Rangers (.923).

Related: Cameron ‘extremely proud’ of Senators

Sens sign Pageau, head coach Cameron to two-year extensions

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The Ottawa Senators made a pair of fairly significant moves on Thursday, signing both head coach Dave Cameron and forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau to two-year extensions.

Pageau, 22, really flourished after Cameron took over for Paul MacLean last year, and finished with career-highs in games (50), goals (10), assists (nine) and points (19). As a result, he’ll now earn $900,000 annually on his new deal and, perhaps even more importantly, will now be on a one-way deal. Pageau has spent a considerable amount of time with AHL Binghamton over the last few seasons, but now looks to be a full-fledged NHLer.

As for the head coach…

Cameron, 56, officially inked the extension GM Bryan Murray put on the table soon after Ottawa was eliminated from the postseason. The deal is well deserved; Cameron took over on Dec. 8 and led Ottawa on one of the greatest playoff rallies in league history — the Sens went 32-15-8 for 72 points over 55 games during his tenure, overcoming a 14-point deficit to make the playoffs on the final day of the regular season.