After a time out, the New Jersey Devils drafted goaltender Gilles Senn at 129th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Their first selection in the fifth round is indeed a goalie who played in the top Swiss league. He’s also an overaged prospect. And he’s definitely off the board. Let’s learn more about him.
According to Elite Prospects, Gilles Senn is a 21 year old goaltender from Saas-Almagell, Switzerland. He’s very large as he’s listed at 6’5” and 192 pounds. Senn has been playing for HC Davos of the National League A in Switzerland from his youth to the first team. He has emerged from being the starter on the U-20 team to becoming the starting goaltender on Davos’ main team in 2016-17. Senn appeared in 34 games (it’s a 50-game season) and posted a 91.1% save percentage, tied for the thirteenth best overall save percentage in the league last season. Senn also made ten appearances in the playoffs (89.6% save percentage), four appearances in the Champions Hockey League (91.9% save percentage), two in the Swiss Cup, and two in the Spengler Cup (92.3% save percentage) - all for Davos. Again, he was clearly their starter last season. Was he a top goalie in the NLA? No. But he is young.
There isn’t a whole lot out there from a scouting standpoint on Senn. Between his current age, where he played, and his lack of appearances as a youth international, I’m struggling to find some detail about how he performed. Even if there was, my initial reaction is that this is a surprise. Drafting an overaged prospect in the fifth round is one thing. It’s a good move if the player blossomed after they turned 18. Even more so if they stood out on the team they played for. While Senn certainly grew into the starter role with Davos, it was not like he was one of the best in the league either. He didn’t excel enough to get notice earlier, so I’m scratching my head as to why now, four years after he was initially eligible.
What’s more is that a goalie was picked at all. Given his age and professional pedigree, he could jump right into the Devils depth chart at goalie. But the Devils already had a full one between Schneider, Blackwood, Wedgewood, and Appleby - not to mention Evan Cormier as a prospect. Adding one for the future would be one thing and something I would understand this late in the draft. But a 21-year old that can go pro here right away? Is someone else other than Keith Kinkaid going somewhere? If it turns out that Senn has solid mechanics and just needs experience, then OK. That could make it a good selection. But at this moment, I’m not a fan of this selection. I could be convinced otherwise, of course.
Now it’s your turn. What do you think about the pick? Do you like Gilles Senn? What do you hope for him? Please leave your answers in the comments and please vote in our poll. Thank you for reading.
The New Jersey Devils draft Gilles Senn at 129th overall (5th Rd.). What do you think about the pick?
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I love it!
I like the pick.
I don’t know/I’m in the middle.
I don’t like the pick.
I hate it!