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.
With many wondering just how much longer Daniel Alfredsson will be lacing up his skates for the Ottawa Senators, it’s easy to understand that fans of the team are already clamoring for an heir apparent from Scandinavia’s biggest producer of NHL talent. One such candidate is Jakob Silfverberg, a player that Senators' GM Bryan Murray was ready to add to his NHL lineup last fall.
Photo: Defenseman Ben Blood is one of several NCAA prospects the Senators have signed over the past few weeks to an entry-level deal. (Photo courtesy of Brace Hemmelgarn/Icon SMI)
The Ottawa Senators continue to make extensive use of the NCAA and SEL to develop their young talent. This past season four of their prospects suited up in the top Swedish league and two of their blue chippers – Mike Zibanejad and Jakob Silfverberg – should push for roster spots in Ottawa next season. Read more»
By his own standards, Swedish forward Mika Zibanejad had a quiet performance at the 2012 World Junior Championship. But Zibanejad produced when his team needed it the most as he netted the overtime winner in the gold medal game, providing Sweden with their first gold medal win in 31 years.
Zibanejad talked about the goal and winning gold following the victory over Russia.
Canada’s Mark Stone was one of the top forwards at the 2012 World Junior Championship. Stone scored in all but one game for Canada, and he was a threat to score on most of the shifts he had taken during the tournament. But Canada fell short of their goal of winning a gold medal, with Stone being more disappointed with missing that goal than he being satisfied with how he had performed during the tournament.
Stone talked to the media following Canada’s bronze medal win over Finland.