Photo: The Buffalo Sabres added to their already deep draft pool with nine selections at the 2014 NHL Draft, including first round pick Sam Reinhart (L) and second round selection Brandon Lemieux (R) (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The NHL's Western Conference currently has the bragging rights to league supremacy as a a result of the Los Angeles Kings five-game Stanley Cup final win over the New York Rangers. While the results from the 2014 NHL Draft may not alter the current lock the West has on the NHL's most prized trophy, at least one team in the Eastern Conference might be offering a ray of hope for the future.
Photo: The Ottawa Senators selected forward Curtis Lazar 17th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)
The Ottawa Senators are in for another interesting, potentially franchise-altering offseason. Following former captain Daniel Alfredsson's footsteps last summer, the 2013-14 Senators captain Jason Spezza is likely on his way out. Two more top-six forwards, Ales Hemsky and Milan Michalek, might be following suit. With valuable assets to shop around, general manager Bryan Murray will remain busy leading up to the 2014 NHL draft.
Photo: Frolunda defenseman and Dallas Stars prospect John Klingberg has gotten a small taste of North American hockey the past couple of seasons, but will move to North America for the 2014-15 season (courtesy of Andrew Dieb/Icon SMI)
As the 2014 NHL Draft approaches, it is important to take note that the NHL is currently chock full of players hailing from Sweden. In particular, it would have been difficult to find many NHL rosters that lacked a Swede patrolling the blueline this past season.
Photo: Forward Curtis Lazar helped the Edmonton Oil Kings to a 2014 Memorial Cup Championship. Lazar was also a standout for the Oil Kings in the WHL Playoffs, posting 10 goals and 12 assists in 21 games. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)
While the Ottawa Senators failed to qualify for the postseason, most of the organization's prospects made playoff appearances this spring. CHL prospects Ben Harpur and Curtis Lazar had particularly noteworthy postseasons as they helped their respective teams to the 2014 Memorial Cup.
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.