Fresh surroundings will aid certain Ottawa Senators prospects in their development paths this season. Former college forward Alex Guptill is embarking on his pro career, while Swedish forward Tobias Lindberg left his country to join the Oshawa Generals in the OHL. Meanwhile, 2014 draft pick Kelly Summers is leaving the Ottawa valley region to test his abilities in the NCAA.
The lack of a first round selection in the 2014 NHL Draft hurt the Ottawa Senators, but the arrival of two forward prospects via trade helped generate some excitement. Acquired from the Dallas Stars as part of a package deal for Jason Spezza, OHL forward Nicholas Paul is a player on the rise, poised for a breakout year in 2014-15. Fellow new arrival Alex Guptill, on the other hand, is looking to rebound back to elite form after a forgettable final season with the Michigan Wolverines.
The Dallas Stars, amid management and coaching changes, have gathered quite an impressive herd of prospects in recent years. The aforementioned front office changes obviously have a trickle-down effect with regard to the on-ice product and as a result, many of these terrific prospects have gotten at least a taste of NHL action.
It might be a new ranch, but it is not his first rodeo. Dallas Stars new General Manager Jim Nill embarked on his first substantial opportunity to put his mark on his new team at the National Hockey League Entry Draft in Newark, NJ in the midst of an otherwise indiscernible June afternoon and evening. Nill and his staff entered the day with nine picks in seven rounds, including five of the first 68 selections. Like many drafts as they approach, this one was touted as the “next great one” and if that is any indication (it normally is not), the Stars were primed to really push their already burgeoning prospect pool to the boiling point.