Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings forward and Ottawa Senators prospect Curtis Lazar, shown here battling the London Knights’ Nikita Zadorov at the 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup, finished ninth in the WHL in goals this season with 41 (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)
It’s been a busy year for Edmonton Oil Kings’ forward Curtis Lazar — drafted 17th overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 2013 NHL Draft, a key player on Canada’s U20 World Junior Championship entry, and now a second go-round in the Memorial Cup. And it’s safe to say the Senators are pleased with his progress — at least, that’s what he thinks their actions mean.
Photo: Forward Vincent Dunn is one of several Ottawa Senators prospects to have an offensively productive 2013-14 season. Dunn managed 31 goals and 20 assists for the Gatineau Olympiques. (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
A number of Ottawa Senators prospects came into their own during the 2013-14 season. Curtis Lazar was the best among them, leading the Edmonton Oil Kings to a WHL championship, and a berth in the 2014 Memorial Cup.
Photo: Aleksander Barkov leads the Florida system. The rookie center scored eight goals and 24 points in 54 NHL games before suffering a knee injury at the Olympics (courtesy of Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Below is the 11-30 segment of the Hockey's Future 2014 Spring NHL Team Rankings. The teams are ranked in terms of the quality of their overall prospect pool as voted on by members of the HF staff. 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. Each team’s Fall ranking is listed in parenthesis next to their Spring ranking.
Photo: Winnipeg Jets prospect Nic Petan (#19) and Nashville Predators prospect Brendan Leipsic (#28) of the Portland Winterhawks have much to smile about as they will be competing in their fourth straight WHL Championship series (courtesy of Ben Nelms/Getty Images)
The defensemen, goaltenders and wingers have all been covered, so it is time to take a look at the top centers prospects that competed in the WHL during the 2013-14 season.
Photo: Binghamton Senators forward and Ottawa Senators prospect Matt Puempel shared the team goal-scoring lead with Mike Hoffman in the 2013-14 regular season (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
There is no doubting Ottawa Senators forward prospect and Binghamton Senators' co-leading goal scorer Matt Puempel’s ability to score goals. The three-time 30-goal scorer at the OHL level was Ottawa’s first round pick (24th overall) in 2011 and, as Binghamton head coach Luke Richardson said several times, Puempel is a natural goal scorer.