Sunday's Weekly Question asked "which prospect from the last ten years got your hopes up only to dash them?" Given the relative success of that piece, I thought it would be interesting to look at successful prospects. For this exercise to be interesting at all, Erik Karlsson is automatically disqualified because he is without a doubt the greatest. Things to consider: draft position, career with Ottawa, career as a whole, and potential.
Which prospect from the past ten years has been the most successful?
Elliott was drafted 291st overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2003. He spent four seasons at the University of Wisconsin, where he was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award and led the Badgers to the 2006 NCAA National Championship. He spent parts of four seasons with the Sens, as both the starter and the back-up. His inconsistent play led to Ottawa trading him to the Colorado Avalanche for Craig Anderson in 2011. He finished the season 2-12 with the Avalanche and was not offered a contract. He signed a one-year deal with the St. Louis Blues in 2011. He had a record-setting 2011-12 season, winning the William M. Jennings Trophy (with Jaroslav Halak) and the Roger Crozier Award (for highest save percentage) and has re-signed with the Blues.
Condra was drafted 211th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2006. Condra had a very successful college career; he spent four years at the University of Notre Dame. Upon graduation, he split the 2010-11 season between the NHL and the AHL, and was returned to the BSens for their Calder Cup run in 2011. 2011-12 was his first full season in the NHL and Condra established himself as a reliable defensive forward. In four seasons in Ottawa, he has proven to be a solid possession player, not bad for a late pick.
Wiercioch was drafted 42nd overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2008. After two successful seasons with the University of Denver, he turned pro, joining Bingo in 2010-2011. He made his NHL debut in 2010-2011, playing 8 games with the Senators. His career was jeopardized when he suffered a life-threatening injury on December 9, 2011. Remarkably, he returned to the Binghamton line-up six weeks later, on January 27, 2012. Early in the lockout-shortened 2012-2013 campaign, Wiercioch was recalled by the Senators and has remained in the NHL since, re-signing this past summer. Despite being a healthy scratch numerous times last season, Wiercioch has shown promise offensively (44 points in 103 games) and rates favourably with advanced stats.
He was drafted 79th overall by the Senators in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft after four seasons with the Swift Current Broncos and an amateur tryout with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL. Smith spent the majority of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons with the Binghamton Senators before securing a place in Ottawa during the 2010-11 season and has been a full-time player ever since. Not the most offensive-minded player in the group, Smith has been reliable and valuable during his five seasons with the Senators, not bad for a mid-round pick.
Silfverberg was drafted 39th overall by the Senators in 2009. He opted to return to Sweden for the 2011-2012 season, winning the Guldhjälmen Award, as the MVP of the regular season, the Guldpucken award as player of the year, and finished second in league scoring. He was named MVP of the players, broke Daniel Alfredsson's playoff scoring record, and helped Brynäs win the Swedish championship. On the heels of his victory in Sweden, Silfverberg joined the Senators for their playoff push against the New York Rangers, making his NHL debut in the final two games of the series. A regular for the Sens during the 2012-2013 season, he was traded on July 5, 2013 with Stefan Noesen and a first round pick for Bobby Ryan. His first season in Anaheim was marred by injury, but he chipped in 23 points in 52 games.
Lehner was drafted 46th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2009. He played for Frölunda until he was drafted by the Senators. Lehner then moved to Canada and spent one season with the Greyhounds before joining the Binghamton Senators in 2010. The day after his AHL debut, Lehner was called up because of an injury to Pascal Leclaire. He made his NHL debut at 19 years, two months, when he played four minutes against Montreal. Lehner was an important contributor for the B-Sens during their Calder Cup-winning run in 2011 and was named playoff MVP. He is currently Ottawa's backup goalie and has signed an extension with the team, hoping to eventually replace Craig Anderson as starter.
Stone was drafted 178th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2010. Stone played his junior hockey with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL. Stone's offensive production exploded after being drafted by the Senators. In his final two years with Brandon, Stone had 78 goals, 151 assists, and 229 points in 137 games. Stone played in the 2010 Memorial Cup; he also represented Canada at the World Juniors in 2012. He raised the expectations of Sens fans while wearing the Maple Leaf, scoring seven goals and recording 10 points in six games while earning a bronze medal. He made his NHL debut in the 2012 playoffs. He dressed for game five of Ottawa's first round playoff series against the New York Rangers, notching an assist on Jason Spezza's winning goal. Despite injury setbacks in 2013-2014, the late-round pick managed 19 games in the NHL, adding eight points. Hopefully, Stone finds a permanent spot in Ottawa's forward core.
Zibanejad was drafted sixth overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2011. He started his NHL career by making the Senators out of training camp, playing a nine game audition before returning to Djurgårdens IF for the remainder of the season. He joined Sweden at the 2012 World Junior Championship, becoming known nationally after scoring the championship-clinching winning goal. He spent the majority if the 2012-2013 season with the Senators but began the following year in the AHL with Binghamton. Recalled after a few weeks, Zibanejad is now a permanent fixture in the Sens line-up. He's put up 54 points in 120 career games in the NHL and is looking to take the next step in his development on the Sens second line.
Ceci was drafted 15th overall by the Senators in 2012. An offensive standout through four seasons with the Ottawa 67's in the OHL, he finished his junior career with the Owen Sound Attack. After playing just 30 games with the Binghamton Senators, Ceci was called up to Ottawa in December 2013 and spent the rest of the season in the NHL. As he starts his second season in the NHL, it will be interesting to see if the offensive flair he showed in junior will resurface in the NHL.
The Edmonton Oil Kings forward was drafted 17th overall by Ottawa in 2013. Lazar was selected to play for Team Canada at last year's World Junior Championship for the first time and made an impression at the tournament. He also exploded offensively for the Oil Kings in 2013-2014. In just 58 games, he scored 41 goals and added 35 assists, helping Edmonton to the WHL title, his and the team's second in three seasons. He was named a WHL First Team All-Star and continued his strong play in the postseason. He was second in team scoring during the WHL playoffs and had two goals and four points in five Memorial Cup games, including an overtime thriller to send the Oil Kings to the final, where he added a Memorial Cup championship to his portfolio. Lazar has yet to play an NHL game, but is the Sens most-hyped prospect in ages.