Photo: Forward Curtis Lazar had a strong 2013-14 season, managing 41 goals in 58 WHL games. Lazar was picked 17th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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.
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: Anaheim Ducks prospect Nicolas Kerdiles has been outstanding in his sophomore season with the University of Wisconsin. A second round pick the 2012 NHL Draft, Kerdiles has compiled 15 goals and 22 assists through 27 games this year. (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon SMI)
Welcome to the March 2014 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various levels of competition who are either exceeding expectations or falling a little behind.
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: Marcus Hogberg is among several strong goaltending prospects in the Ottawa Senators system. Hogberg was selected 78th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The Ottawa Senators organization is no longer a wasteland for goaltending prospects. Robin Lehner, Chris Driedger, and Marcus Hogberg highlight a deep goalie prospect list with high expectations attached. Sweden remains the European melting pot for Senators prospects, and as usual a crop of under-the-radar NCAA prospects are making a splash.