Photo: Forward Matt Puempel is one of three players the Ottawa Senators selected in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The Ottawa Senators went on a fantastic playoff run in 2013, but the most surprising aspect of their success was that it came a season or two earlier than expected. Much of their success can be attributed to the emergence of many top prospects who made an impact in the 2012-13 NHL season.
Photo: Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau edged out the Montreal Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher as HF’s pick for NHL Rookie of the Year (courtesy of Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
Hockey's Future polled their staff to find out who their choice was for the 2013 Calder Trophy. As it was last season, when Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog narrowly edged out Edmonton center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, this year's contest came down to two forwards.
Photo: Forward Mika Zibanejad is one of several talented Swedish players in the Ottawa Senators prospect pool. (courtesy of Jay Kopinski/Icon SMI)
The Ottawa Senators pipeline features plenty of homegrown talent, including Kanata's Mark Borowiecki, and nearby Hull's Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Cody Ceci and Shane Prince both played in the Senators' backyard for the Ottawa 67's.
Photo: Montreal Canadiens' rookies Alex Galchenyuk (L) and Brendan Gallagher (R) have played a major role in the Canadiens' turnaround season (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
In what is looking like it will come down to a two-player race, Florida winger Jonathan Huberdeau, who continues to lead the disappointing Florida Panthers in scoring, and 20-year-old Brendan Gallagher, who has played a key role for the surprising Montreal Canadiens, have begun to move clear from the rest of the rookie field.
Photo: Defenseman Jonas Brodin has been impressive for the Minnesota Wild. The 19-year-old Swede leads all rookies in average ice time. (courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
Many of the players in the middle section of the Hockey's Future 2013 Spring ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects have experienced excellent growth over the past season and have risen in the ranks as a result. Among the most notable is Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin, who has played well for the Wild in a shutdown role alongside Ryan Suter.