Photo: Selected 17th overall, forward Curtis Lazar was the first of seven picks made by the Ottawa Senators in the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
The Ottawa Senators have done a great job of unearthing NHL-caliber players in the later rounds of the NHL Draft, getting the most out of their late picks to provide support for their top players. The Senators have leaned strongly towards the Swedish junior circuit, a league their scouts are very familiar with, but the organization has also taken chances on hometown kids. General Manager Bryan Murray made a point of drafting hard working, supporting cast-type players in 2013.
Photo: Forward Matt Puempel is one of three players the Ottawa Senators selected in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The Ottawa Senators went on a fantastic playoff run in 2013, but the most surprising aspect of their success was that it came a season or two earlier than expected. Much of their success can be attributed to the emergence of many top prospects who made an impact in the 2012-13 NHL season.
Photo: Forward Mika Zibanejad is one of several talented Swedish players in the Ottawa Senators prospect pool. (courtesy of Jay Kopinski/Icon SMI)
The Ottawa Senators pipeline features plenty of homegrown talent, including Kanata's Mark Borowiecki, and nearby Hull's Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Cody Ceci and Shane Prince both played in the Senators' backyard for the Ottawa 67's.
Photo: Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau finished the 2012-13 season tied for the lead among NHL rookies with 31 points (courtesy of Rich Kane/Icon SMI)
Hockey's Future presents the top grouping of the Spring NHL Team Rankings, the staff's ranking of each NHL team's system based on the strength of the entire prospect pool. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The ranking is done twice a year, with this edition being an update to the Fall ranking.
Photo: Ottawa Senators prospect Robbie Baillargeon has been nearly a point-per-game player since being dealt from the Indiana Ice to the Omaha Lancers (courtesy of Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)
Robbie Baillargeon is hockey’s “Mystery Man”. If he were a president, he would be Woodrow Wilson. If he were the subject of a novel, Kristen Ashley would write it. If he were a superhero, he would team up with Mr. Furious, The Shoveler and The Blue Raja.