Crooklyn's Top 20 Ottawa Prospects

Well here it is, my list of the top 20 prospects in the Ottawa farm system. The prospects are ranked from who has the higher ceiling (which is why number 4 is ranked higher than number 7). The list isn't set in stone, players on the bottom of the list can easily rise to the top in a few seasons, but this list is as of right now. So without further adieu, let's start with number 20 on my list of the top Ottawa Senators prospects!

20. C, Mike Hoffman - Binghamton Senators (American Hockey League)
DOB: Nov. 24/89 | Shoots: L | Height: 5.11 | Weight: 175lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 57GP 7G 14A 21P 8PIM
The former QMJHL MVP has had an alright rookie season. He's going to need some add some size to his frame, but like many of the other rookies in Binghamton, expect a better second season. He might have the skills to be a top-six forward in the NHL, but Hoffman still needs more time, conditioning, and a lot of commitment to put it all together.

19. LW, David Dziurzynski - Binghamton Senators (American Hockey League)
DOB: Oct. 6/89 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.03 | Weight: 205lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 58GP 6G 11A 17P 36PIM
After his coming out year with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, Dziurzynski has gone from fourth-line grinder to coach favorite to the player who some feel could be the Binghamton Senators' rookie of the year (sorry, Robin Lehner). Dziurzynski is known for his impressive face-off abilities, but he also comes with a package of speed, soft hands, hockey sense, and size. Expect him to be on Ottawa's radar next season, as he's pretty much a shoo-in to get called up at some point next season.

18. C, Colin Greening - Ottawa Senators (National Hockey League)
DOB: Mar. 9/86 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.02 | Weight: 210lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 9GP 1G 2A 3P 4PIM
Another seventh-round pick, Greening was the tough guy on the first line in Binghamton with Bobby Butler and Corey Locke, showcasing his good skating and a hard shot. Greening shown in his seasons at Cornell University, that can be put up points, but his most valued skill to Ottawa will be play on the boards and other rough parts of the ice. He's farther ahead in his development than a lot of other players on this list because of his age, but appears to be a potentially solid bottom-six player on an NHL roster.

17. C, Jakub Culek - Rimouski Oceanic (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League)
DOB: Sep. 7/92 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.04 | Weight: 195lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 49GP 6G 14A 20P 35PIM
Ottawa's "first" draft selection of the 2010 NHL Draft, has had a very disappointing season. Culek is a playmaker, who's offense will be a huge work in progress over the next few seasons. His size makes him a great two-way option, and if he is able to put it all together, he can be a very dangerous player in both zones on the ice. His next season with Rimouski should tell us a lot about his future.

16. RW, Markus Sörensen - Djurgårdens IF Hockey (Elitserien)
DOB: Apr. 7/92 | Shoots: L | Height: 5.11 | Weight: 161lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 7GP 1G 1A 2P 0PIM
A project player, Sörensen is likely to be on prospect lists for a while. The young Swedish forward has fast hands, is great skater, and is a very flashy player. Like Andre Petterson, he hasn't been playing hockey for over a month due to a back injury.

15. LW, Kaspars Daugavins - Binghamton Senators (American Hockey League)
DOB: May. 18/88 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.00 | Weight: 205lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 57GP 15G 28A 43P 26PIM
Kaspars Daugavins has turned on the jets in his second full season in Binghamton. In the final year of his entry-level deal, Daugavins had a very slow and rough start to the season. But as Binghamton started winning more games, Daugavins started to play harder. There have been rumours Daugavins could join Dinamo Riga of the KHL in his hometown, but if he's retained by Ottawa next season, he should get a long look in training camp.

14. LW, Andre Petersson - HV71 (Elitserien)
DOB: Sep. 11/90 | Shoots: R | Height: 5.09 | Weight: 169lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 31GP 8G 4A 12P 18PIM
Plagued with back injuries and inconsistency, Andre Petersson's stock has fallen. Thanks to the HV71 veteran core, Petersson has mostly played fourth line minutes this season, limiting any success he might have had if not for the injury. Petersson is a one-dimensional offensive winger, who can play offense well enough to make up for his lack of defense. However he doesn't have the consistency to be a huge offensive threat, and he hasn't played any hockey in over a month thanks to a back injury. Petersson has potential to be Ottawa's best offensive prospect, and he's only 20 years old, but he has a long road ahead of him.

13. D, Eric Gryba - Binghamton Senators (American Hockey League)
DOB: Apr. 14/88 | Shoots: R | Height: 6.03 | Weight: 215lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 54GP 2G 3A 5P 110PIM
Where most of Ottawa's prospects need to get tougher, Gryba already is. Gryba's stick isn't completely useless, however, he has an accurate shot, and he can make some quick and effective passes. He already has over 100 PIMs and ranks second in Binghamton. If Francis Lessard stays with Ottawa for the rest of the season, expect Gryba to pass him.

12. D, Chris Wideman - Miami University (Ohio) (Central Collegiate Hockey Association)
DOB: Jan. 7/90 | Shoots: R | Height: 5.10 | Weight: 170lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 34GP 2G 18A 20P 30PIM
A fine offensive-minded defense prospect, Wideman's defense doesn't get the credit it deserves. Leading all Miami defensemen in points, Wideman is expected to put up career high numbers to finish the season. He's amazing on the power-play, with all but two of his 18 points coming while on the man advantage. But since he's in his junior year, so don't expect to see him in Binghamton next season.

11. RW, Erik Condra - Ottawa Senators (National Hockey League)
DOB: Aug. 6/86 | Shoots: R | Height: 6.00 | Weight: 195lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 9GP 2G 2A 4P 6PIM
Erik Condra went from seventh-round afterthought to one of the more promising forwards Ottawa has. After leading all rookies in Binghamton in points last season, Condra found chemistry with Jim O'Brien and the two took over the offense when Butler was called-up to Ottawa. Players like Condra are the reason why all seven rounds of the draft matter.

10. C, Zack Smith - Ottawa Senators (National Hockey League)
DOB: Apr. 5/88 | Shoots: R | Height: 6.02 | Weight: 199lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 38GP 4G 2A 6P 61PIM
Well I'm sure everyone is familiar with Z. Smith. Number 15 is a very physical and versatile forward who's expected to finish the season with Ottawa. The most impressive things about Smith are his face-offs, where he's won over 50 per cent of, his fantastic work ethic, and play in front the net. He may not put the flashy numbers, but Zack Smith will get the job done as a solid fourth-liner once he gets more ice time.

9. C, Jim O'Brien - Binghamton Senators (American Hockey League)
DOB: Jan. 29/89 | Shoots: R | Height: 6.02 | Weight: 200lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 56GP 16G 26A 42P 61PIM
Don't look now, but Jim O'Brien has a future again. After three mediocre seasons, two with the Seattle Thunderbirds and last year in Binghamton, Jim O'Brien is Ottawa's most improved prospect. As much as his offense has come together, his defense is the real story. He's blocking shots, checking forwards, forechecking, and he's using his size the way Mike Fisher used to for Ottawa. Expect to see him called-up a few more times and fight for one of the many open forward positions next season, probably in the bottom-six to start with, but he could work his way to the second line if his improvement continues.

8. RW, Roman Wick - Binghamton Senators (American Hockey League)
DOB: Dec. 30/85 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.01 | Weight: 187lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 56GP 13G 16A 29P 16PIM
As the oldest prospect, Wick's window is closing fast. He started off slow in the AHL, but since going scoreless in his first ten games, Wick has become a solid forward for Binghamton's second and third lines. Right now he doesn't look like an NHLer, but Ottawa is going to have to make a decision quick as Wick was signed to a one-year deal and might return to Swiss-A if his NHL future is in doubt.

7. RW, Bobby Butler - Ottawa Senators (National Hockey League)
DOB: Apr. 26/87 | Shoots: R | Height: 6.00 | Weight: 180lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 19GP 6G 3A 9P 2PIM
The AHL All-Star game MVP began his pro career with a bang in the AHL. Corey Locke was the perfect centre for him, and Butler quickly used his unpredictable shot to become one of the AHL's most dangerous young forwards. In Ottawa, his offense has gotten started after scoring his first point, but his minus-12 leaves us waiting for his very underrated two-way defense to show up.

6. C, Louie Caporusso - University of Michigan (Central Collegiate Hockey Association)
DOB: Jun. 21/89 | Shoots: L | Height: 5.10 | Weight: 188lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 35GP 9G 17A 26P 20PIM
His numbers may not be as good as years past, but Caporusso is known for his strong second-half finishes. The love expert doesn't have the size of most forwards in the NHL, but he is a very skilled player and has excellent speed to make up for it, especially on the powerplay. Watch out for him on Binghamton next year.

5. LW, Jakob Silfverberg - Brynäs IF (Elitserien)
DOB: Oct. 13/90 | Shoots: R | Height: 6.01 | Weight: 187lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 53GP 18G 16A 34P 16PIM
Like the other Swedish prospects, Silfverberg has an impressive two-way game. His offense have improved as his numbers are nearly doubled in every category, but his defense has come along way as well. He still isn't as physical as Ottawa would want him to be, but Sens head scout Pierre Dorion has said he expects Silfverberg to be in the Ottawa lineup next season, competing for a top-six spot. Silfverberg still remains Ottawa's best hope (until the draft) for offense.

4. D, Patrick Wiercioch - Binghamton Senators (American Hockey League)
DOB: Sep. 12/90 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.04 | Weight: 185lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 55GP 4G 8A 12P 19PIM
The 20-year-old defensemen is going through his adjustment period in the AHL right now. The team has noticed his improvement in his play lately, and have rewarded him with more time on the powerplay, which has gone a long way in his continued improvement in the defensive zone. Expect a strong second season from two-way defensemen.

3. G, Robin Lehner - Binghamton Senators (American Hockey League)
DOB: Jul. 24/91 | Glove: R | Height: 6.04 | Weight: 224lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 7-6-2, .912Sv% 2.67GAA 2SO
What a year it has been (and it's not even over) for the Swedish butterfly-style goaltender. He's been playing without a home for most of the season, but despite Barry Brust's performance in the AHL, Lehner has put up nice numbers for a 19-year-old backup goaltender. He's on the right track development wise, and we should see a huge improvement in his numbers next season in the AHL. Assuming Ottawa's goaltending situation isn't bad enough that he'll need to be called up.

2. D, Jared Cowen - Spokane Chiefs (Western Hockey League)
DOB: Jan. 25/91 | Shoots: R | Height: 6.05 | Weight: 220lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 52GP 18G 28A 46P 87PIM
As expected, Cowen is destroying his opponents in the WHL. And his performance in the WJC in Buffalo was just what Ottawa Senators fans wanted to see. He seems to have recovered from the leg injury that had him drop to Ottawa in the 2009 draft, and his leadership and work ethic have done a great deal in turning the Spokane Chiefs into Ed Chynoweth and Memorial Cup contenders. Don't expect the offense to stick in the NHL, as he's probably going to be more Adam Foote than Zdeno Chara, but he'll compete for a job in Ottawa's lineup next season.

1. D, David Rundblad - Skellefteå AIK (Elitserien)
DOB: Oct. 8/90 | Shoots: R | Height: 6.02 | Weight: 189lbs
Season Statistics (Mar 7th): 55GP 11G 39A 50P 14PIM
The leader of all defensemen in the Elitserien in points, David Rundblad has been the most exciting prospect for the Ottawa Senators this season. Expected to start in the NHL next season, Rundblad is already offensively talented. He can get points off his own shot, and find open line-mates with his fantastic vision. Rundblad will have to improve his defensive play if he wishes to be an elite two-way defensemen, but he should be a joy to watch in Ottawa next season.

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