With five of the past six first-overall NHL draft picks being forwards from the Ontario Hockey League, OHL defensemen have had a lot of practice playing against elite offensive talent. And that’s reflected in the continued development of these 10 promising young NHL-drafted defensemen.
The Ottawa Senators have nine prospects presently at the junior level led by former first round picks Cody Ceci, Stefan Noesen, and Matt Puempel. The organization addressed its weak goaltending depth in the 2012 entry draft by selecting Chris Driedger of the WHL and Francois Brassard of the QMJHL, both of whom are having strong seasons. The lone junior prospect Ottawa has outside of Canadain major junior is Robbie Baillargeon of the USHL.
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.
If the Ottawa Senators' appearance in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs was surprising, it was only because no one expected the organization's young talent to develop so quickly. With Erik Karlsson leading the way, the Senators have another triumvirate of future Swedish stars in forwards Mika Zibanejad and Jakob Silfverberg and goaltender Robin Lehner in the pipeline.