During the Sens rise to prominence during the late 90s onwards, the foundation of their teams were built on strong drafting, primarily out of Europe. Sixth round pick Daniel Alfredsson is obviously a prime example of this.
Martin Havlat was named the best ever 26th overall pick by NHL.com earlier this month and the Sens can lay claim to another "best ever" pick as Marian Hossa was voted as the best ever 12th overall by the NHL panel.
In 467 career games with the Sens, Hossa was a star, recording 188 goals and 202 assists to total 390 points between 1997 and 2004.
From the NHL.com story...
During the 1996-97 season, 17-year-old Marian Hossa made his debut in the top professional league in his native Slovakia, scoring at a point-per-game clip while playing against older, more physically developed men.
The Ottawa Senators noticed his outstanding play against high-level competition as a teenager and selected him with the 12th pick of the 1997 NHL Draft. The gamble paid off; Hossa's strong play as a teen was a precursor to an outstanding NHL career that has seen him play 1,000 games, skate in five NHL All-Star Games, and win a Stanley Cup.
Hossa made the Senators' opening-night roster in 1997-98 and made his NHL debut Oct. 1, 1997, totaling one shot on goal in 19:07 of ice time. He had one point in seven games before he was assigned to the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. He had 45 goals and 80 points in 53 WHL games, was named the WHL Rookie of the Year, and helped Portland win the Memorial Cup.
A knee injury sustained in the Memorial Cup championship game sidelined him for the first two months of the 1998-99 season, but he had 15 goals and 30 points in 60 games and finished second to Chris Drury of the Colorado Avalanche in voting for the 1999 Calder Trophy.
In 2000-01, Hossa had his first 30-goal season, set a career-best with 75 points and skated in his first All-Star Game. In 2002-03, he hit the 40-goal mark for the first time, with his 45 goals leading the team and placing him fourth in the League. The Senators won the Presidents' Trophy and advanced to the Eastern Conference Final as Hossa had 16 points in 18 games.
His 935 points are third all-time among Slovakian-born players, trailing Hall of Famer members Stan Mikita (1,467) and Peter Stastny (1,239), and his 434 goals are fourth.
"[Hossa] has been an elite two-way player at the NHL level for over a decade," NHL.com deputy managing editor Brian Compton said. "He's 66 goals shy of 500 in his career and 65 points away from 1,000. He's a borderline Hall of Famer right now and hopefully still has some real good years left."
Hossa has had some great seasons in the NHL since his departure from the Sens. In 551 games he has recorded 246 goals and 545 points. He also captured the Stanley Cup in 2010 with the Chicago Blackhawks in his third consecutive trip to the final.
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