Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings forward and Ottawa Senators prospect Curtis Lazar is having a good season in Edmonton, notching 21 goals and 16 assists in 27 games while sporting a +22 rating (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
After suffering a surprising loss to the Czech Republic in the second game of the preliminary round, Canada circled the wagons and gutted out a pair of wins, over Slovakia and the USA, to take the top seed in Group A at the 2014 World Junior Championship.
Photo: After a rough start to the 2013-14 season, Chris Driedger has been lights out for the Calgary Hitmen. Driedger was selected by the Ottawa Senators in the third round of the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
The Ottawa Senators have six prospects evenly split across the Canadian Junior system this year, with two in the OHL, two in the QMJHL, and two in the WHL.
Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings forward and Ottawa Senators prospect Curtis Lazar is scoring at a better than point-per-game pace so far in 2013-14 (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
It’s not necessarily a description heard frequently in WHL circles, but the terminology leaves little room for debate when assessing the importance of Curtis Lazar in an Edmonton Oil Kings uniform.
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: Photo: Jarred Tinordi leads a deep group of defensive prospects for the Montreal Canadiens. Tinordi was selected 22nd overall in the 2010 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
Below is the middle section of the Hockey's Future NHL Team Rankings. The teams are ranked in terms of the quality of their overall prospect pool as voted on by HF staff. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice a year, with this ranking meant to represent the state of the prospect pools in the early stages of the 2013-14 season.