The Binghamton Senators have had a fairly good year so far. Nathan Lawson has provided good-to-great goaltending at times and Andrew Hammond is having a unspectacular though by no means poor rookie season.
Just like last year, kudos have to go to the work of Luke Richardson and his coaching staff in developing and guiding this team to where it is.
So an overview, the forwards.
Mike Hoffman: Hoffman is 2nd in AHL scoring and has earned his captaincy. He can shoot, stick handle and man can he skate. Unfortunately hes small (generously listed at 6ft) and recent injuries have stalled his attempts to make the NHL. Mike Hoffman is also 24 and his window of opportunity is running out with 3 LW's hot on his heels in the organization. There is no question of his skill but rather if he can successfully make the jump to the NHL.
Stephane Da Costa: Reminds me of Corey Locke so much its not even funny. Has made a noticeable improvement in his game (after being flat out told by the org to improve his conditioning in the off-season) but multiple stints in the NHL suggest he is a classic Tweener. All-star in the AHL, plug in the NHL.
Cole Schneider: One of pleasant surprises of the 2012-2013 season he has continued to improve in all areas and as of now has comfortably leaped Prince in the depth chart. He has produced since he was signed and is poised to obliterate his previous career totals.
Mark Stone: Finally playing healthy, earned his call-up. Enough Said.
Matt Puempel: Skill and Shot are evident, skating is good if average. Really just needs to round out his game to make the leap.
Pageau: More or less looked management in the eye humming "The Tune" with his play before being called back up.
Andre Petersson: Andre has skills......seriously. Will he ever be a great two-way player...probably not. Having said that he has comfortably played his way back into the conversation in the depth chart but it may be a case of too little too late. If the assumption is Stone/Ryan/Lazar (yes I know he can play center) are to be a RW's for the foreseeable future, I cannot see him playing 4th line minutes.
Shane Prince: Skill and Speed in a tiny package. Has to be more consistent and get into the dirty areas more often. By no means a bad season, it simply has not been great.
JOB: Just like in the NHL, he is playing as a so-so player. He will be gone at the end of the year.
Derek Grant: A competent 4th line center who can be trusted in the NHL. His call up time and injuries in the minors have limited his impact in the AHL
David "Dizzy" Dziurzynski: Has had a step back in play this year (directly proportional to the play of Stone/Petersson/Robinson) and has no realistic shot of making the NHL team in the long-term, though a short-term call-up is not out of the equation.
Corey Cowick: Biggest disappointment of the year. Last season suggested he had a decent future as a grinder in the NHL but his numbers have taken a considerable hit. He may not equal even half his production of last year and injuries have not been a factor. (The deeper LW has hurt him in fairness).
Darren Kramer: Shit disturber and not much else.
Wacey Hamilton: AHL Plug. Has no shot at the NHL anytime soon.
Jakub Culek/Ludvig Karlsson: Non-factors for the BSENS.
Best: Hoffman/Da Costa/Schneider
Worst: Cowick/O'Brien (Hamilton has remained the same as last year)
And now the Defence:
Fredrik Claesson: A huge step in development this year. Easily the most improved player on the team (Cole Schneider is a close second). Has frankly put Borocop on notice with his play, Borocop makes the team next year or he will be pushed aside, Claesson has been that good. He will never be a big point producer, but a Chris Phillips-type player is very possible. Led the league in +/- for a time (given his TOI this is an accomplishment especially in the East division) and has been Bingo's best defenceman overall.
Cody Ceci: Played well, Not coming back :P
Chris Wideman: Skills and Skating are not in question, his height is. Decent year so far.
Mark Borowiecki: Has not exactly smoothly transitioned back into the AHL. Playing decently but Claesson has frankly outplayed him.
Michael Sdao: Big guy who can fight, it will be a few years before he gets a shot, if at all.
Tyler Eckford: Career AHLer, this has not changed.
Daniel New: AHLer at best, no chance of making the NHL.
Ben Blood: He is bad bordering on sucks.
Troy Rutkowski: Has not had a good start to his professional career. Still has room to grow.
Binghamton continues to produce and develop productive players for Ottawa Senators (Entirely thanks to the Murrays, looking at you Muckler). Claesson is a lock to make the NHL down the road (though he will not be a star) with Hoffman and Schneider as the next two best bets to make the jump in the near future. The only flaw? A frank lack of blue-chippers outside of Puempel (who has looked good but it is his rookie year) and questions over the two best players (Hoffman/DaCosta) ability to produce at the next level.