After several years of strong drafting by the Ottawa Senators, a healthy competition for a limited amount of NHL jobs has developed among their young players. A wealth of Swedish prospects, led by goalie Robin Lehner, has served Ottawa well in recent years. They also have several first round picks, including Cody Ceci and Curtis Lazar, who are on track to become impactful NHL players.
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.
The Ottawa Senators' inaugural prospect award winners are a telling mix of talent at varying stages of readiness, with as many as four players expected to make a push for an NHL roster spot next season. Of the recipients, up to eight could be in the professional ranks by October, a good reflection of the commitment the organization has made to build from within. Noticeably conspicuous by his absence, top ranked prospect Mika Zibanejad received serious consideration in four of these categories.