Photo: Florida Panthers' forward Jonathan Huberdeau formed a potent trio in February with Peter Mueller (R) and Drew Shore (courtesy of Juan Salas/Icon SMI)
With the lockout-shortened season, most teams will reach the midway point of their 48 game season sometime over the next week. In terms of the race for the 2013 Calder Trophy, most of the front-runners from the season's opening month continued to shine.
Photo: St. Louis Blues rookie Vladimir Tarasenko, who is ranked second in HF's prospect rankings, is off to a fine start in his NHL career, making him a leading candidate for NHL Rookie of the Year (courtesy of Danny Murphy/Icon SMI)
With the end of the lockout and the abbreviated 48-game season, the opportunities for NHL rookies to make an impression is somewhat limited. Many of the top teams, such as the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, head into the season with their lineups virtually intact from the 2011-12 season.
Photo: Winger Cam Atkinson had a stellar month of December, managing 18 points in 12 games. Atkinson is one of several Blue Jackets prospects who will get a chance to play in the NHL when the season resumes. (Bob Frid/Icon SMI)
Cam Atkinson could not have got hot at a better time. He managed eight goals, 10 assists with the Springfield Falcons, and finished with a plus-nine rating in 12 December games, making him the Hockey's Future Prospect of the Month.
Photo: Now in his third year of professional hockey, Patrick Wiercioch has started to blossom into an offensive defenseman. Through 30 AHL games he has nine goals and nine assists. (Jay Kopinski/Icon SM)
In years past, Ottawa's AHL affiliate has been a mixed roster of AHL veterans, free agent signings, and draft picks. This is no longer the case. The Binghamton Senators are stacked with young talent and are among the youngest teams in the AHL.
Photo: Mark Borowiecki is one of several defensive prospects the Ottawa Senators have playing at the AHL level. (Tony Medina/Icon SMI)
The future of the Ottawa Senators looks bright. The Senators are considered to have one of the better pools of young talent in the NHL and, while some top draftees have recently cemented themselves on the Ottawa roster, most notably Erik Karlsson and Jared Cowen, there are many prospects on the verge of becoming solid NHL contributors in the near future. The club has quality and various skill-sets in all positions and has worked to draft where they previously had weak depth.