No. 15: Fredrik Claesson (Reader rank: 12, Last year: 20)
Drafted 126th overall by the Senators in 2011, Fredrik Claesson was the perfect combination of size and skill for Ottawa to invest in.
The 6'1" blue liner could be developed into a feared, competitive defender in his own end, and had enough talent to be considered a puck-moving defenseman. There's still work to be done on both accounts, but Claesson already has a decent amount of NHL experience at a young age.
He hit the pro level in 2012, joining the Binghamton Senators in the AHL. Since then, Claesson has played three seasons with the club, his most impressive campaign coming in 2014 when he recorded 29 points (3, 26) in 75 games.
Though Ben Harpur and Mike Kostka also garnered some playing time with the big club, of the organization's AHL blue liners, Claesson played the most games in the NHL. Playing mostly alongside his fellow countryman Erik Karlsson, Claesson tallied two assists in 16 games with Ottawa. The Stockholm native seemed to have a rough start, with costly giveaways and poor coverage in his own end, but during his second stint with the team in late March, he was far better composed.
Fresh off signing a one-year, two-way contract extension with the Senators, the 23-year-old will be looking to grab a spot on the roster come October. It feels unlikely that the team will be adding another defenseman - and if they do, it will be a depth blue liner - through trade or free agency, so the final position should be up for grabs. Like we've heard throughout the summer, Thomas Chabot will be given a chance to make the team out of camp, and with the Senators' defense prospect pool rather shallow, it'll likely come down to Claesson and Chabot.