Photo: Selected ninth overall in the 2009 NHL Draft, defenseman Jared Cowen has established himself as a tough, two-way defenseman in the NHL. (courtesy of Warren Wimmer/Icon SMI)
The 2008-09 NHL season ended with the Ottawa Senators missing the playoffs for the first time since 1996. The team was in decline, but the 2009 NHL Draft proved to be a fruitful one in what became a relatively quick and successful rebuild. General manager Bryan Murray's staff made quality selections, covering each positional area of the ice.
Photo: Now in his third year of professional hockey, Patrick Wiercioch has started to blossom into an offensive defenseman. Through 30 AHL games he has nine goals and nine assists. (Jay Kopinski/Icon SM)
In years past, Ottawa's AHL affiliate has been a mixed roster of AHL veterans, free agent signings, and draft picks. This is no longer the case. The Binghamton Senators are stacked with young talent and are among the youngest teams in the AHL.
Photo: Defenseman Chris Wideman was one of many Senators prospects to ink an entry-level deal at the conclusion of his season. Expected to start 2012-13 in the AHL, Wideman brings a two-way puck-moving presence to the Ottawa organization. (Tim G. Zechar/Icon SMI)
As an organization, the Ottawa Senators were able to gain invaluable experience during the recent playoff season. The NHL club exceeded most predictions and made the playoffs in what was supposed to be a rebuilding season. Many observers credited a portion of their success to a core group of young players who played a major role in the Binghamton Senators championship run in the 2010-11 AHL playoffs.