Considering the fact that he hasn't played since November 30, 2011, the presence of Jarrod Maidens on this list will certainly raise a few eyebrows. But his hip injury and (purported) concussion problems haven't completely overshadowed the one big reason why the Ottawa Senators drafted him in the third round (82 overall) this past summer: His exceptional offensive abilities.
March 4, 1994
Obviously Maidens is a big-time project player; in fact, the team has been significantly involved in the project so far this season, and Maidens has spent time in Ottawa with the team's training staff working on his post-concussion issues. He's still spent the whole season on the sidelines, but if he's able to get healthy by season's end, he would join Cody Ceci as a member of the Owen Sound Attack roster.
And if he's able to get back to full health, he'll become a valuable prospect for the Ottawa Senators. He's reasonably big, all the scouting reports say he's a very strong skater, and he possesses such great offensive instincts that many scouts had him penciled in as a top-ten pick in the draft before his injury. Although I'm wary of putting too much stock into midget-level statistics, Maidens' 63G and 41A in 57GP with the Hamilton Junior Bulldogs earned him a first-round selection in the OHL entry draft. He had 21P in 47GP in his rookie season, which ended on a huge high when he scored the overtime winner in game seven of the OHL Championships against the then-Mississauga St. Michaels Majors (his second of the game and sixth of the playoffs). He started the 2011-12 season with 23P (12G, 11A) in 28GP before being sidelined by the concussion that's still keeping him out of action.
What's keeping Maidens down in the Top 25 rankings isn't his potential upside; although that's very hard to project based on his limited numbers, it's obvious that he's been above-average among his peers. But it's impossible to know when Maidens will be able to get over his current injury problems, and if he'll ever be able to develop into the offensive player he was on his way to becoming.