Jul 29, 2012, 11:00 PM EST
There were many reasons why Erik Karlsson‘s 2011-12 was amazing, but winning a Norris Trophy as a 22-year-old probably takes the cake.
Really, Karlsson’s beyond-his-years production might be a microcosm of an Ottawa Senators system that is rife with intriguing young talent.
Hockey’s Future ranked them third overall in the NHL, raving about young forwards such as Mika Zibanejad (pictured) and Jakob Silfverberg in particular.
Zibanejad was Ottawa’s early first-rounder in 2011, wowing the Senators brass with his mixture of offensive skills and encouraging nastiness. The Swede played nine games at the NHL level and prospered at the World Junior Championships, so his time just might come next season.
(Although an injury could change things, as that’s what gave him a brief chance last season.)
Karlsson is the headliner among young defensemen, but Jared Cowen recently graduated to the NHL level as well. Cowen’s size and intensity represents a very different set of assets to Karlsson’s scoring.
Whether it’s next season or one after, the Senators’ prospects might represent the franchise’s best chance to keep the momentum going.
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head 130
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller 97
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ 115
- Lecavalier out 3-4 weeks with non-displaced fracture in back 8
- Islanders players hold closed-door meeting after ninth straight loss 14
- Penguins’ Neal has phone hearing for knee on Bruins’ Marchand 89
- Shawn Thornton confirms hearing with NHL Department of Player Safety (Updated) 87
- Video: Penguins’ Neal knees Bruins’ Marchand 69
- Penguins announce Brooks Orpik ‘alert and conscious’ (Updated) 47
- Shawn Thornton: ‘People could probably criticize that I’m a little too honorable’ 78
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (180)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (131)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (127)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (115)
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller (97)