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.
The Ottawa Senators' inaugural prospect award winners are a telling mix of talent at varying stages of readiness, with as many as four players expected to make a push for an NHL roster spot next season. Of the recipients, up to eight could be in the professional ranks by October, a good reflection of the commitment the organization has made to build from within. Noticeably conspicuous by his absence, top ranked prospect Mika Zibanejad received serious consideration in four of these categories.
The list of Top 10 OHL wingers features a few players who were taken in the first-round of the NHL Draft, but there are also several players who went in later rounds yet have exceeded expectations and become quality NHL prospects.
The following 10 players are all property of NHL teams and all figure to make an impact for their respective organizations in the near future.