The future of the Ottawa Senators looks bright. The Senators are considered to have one of the better pools of young talent in the NHL and, while some top draftees have recently cemented themselves on the Ottawa roster, most notably Erik Karlsson and Jared Cowen, there are many prospects on the verge of becoming solid NHL contributors in the near future. The club has quality and various skill-sets in all positions and has worked to draft where they previously had weak depth.
With a surprise appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2011-12, the Ottawa Senators' rebuilding blueprint is starting to show signs of success. Competition for roster spots and ice time this coming season should be fierce as Jakob Silfverberg, Mark Borowiecki, and Jim O'Brien appear targeted to claim roster spots in Ottawa. Other prospects such as Mika Zibanejad and Robin Lehner should also push for full time spots in the NHL.
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.
Ever since the 2012 Memorial Cup host was named last season, the Saint John Sea Dogs and the Shawinigan Cataractes have been on a collision course. Both teams had put forth bids to host the CHL championships when the event rotated into the QMJHL. Most felt that Saint John, having the best regular season record for two seasons in a row at the time and on their way to win the QMJHL championship and the 2011 Memorial Cup, would be named the host for the 2012 Memorial Cup, but it was Shawinigan's bid that ended up winning the day.