Photo: Forward Robbie Baillargeon was extremely effective as a freshman with Boston University and led the Terriers with 27 points through 35 games. Baillargeon was selected in the fifth round of the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
The Ottawa Senators have a variety of prospects developing in Europe and at the collegiate level. There are several skilled forwards who played the 2013-14 season in the NCAA, led by Ryan Dzingel, who recently signed an entry-level contract with the Senators.
Photo: Forward Matt Puempel is playing in his first season of professional hockey. Puempel is a sniper who was selected in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
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.
Photo: Fifth round pick Matt Calvert suited up for his 65th career NHL game on Monday, which graduates the winger from prospect status at Hockey's Future. (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon SMI)
The Columbus Blue Jackets entered the 2008 NHL Entry Draft as a team in rebuilding mode. The 2007-08 season was the first full year for Mike Priest as President and Scott Howson as General Manager of the club, and because he became GM just prior to the 2007 Draft, the 2008 class was one of Howson's first chances to make a mark on the future of the franchise.
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.
Photo: Ottawa Senators prospect Jim O'Brien has made steady progress since being drafted by the club in the first round of the 2007 NHL Draft (Jay Kopinski/Icon SMI)
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.