Among the players believed to be in contention for a spot with the Senators this season is 2011 first-round pick Matt Puempel who is coming off of a 30 goal campaign in the AHL as a rookie. Puempel has seen growth in all phases of his game, leading many to believe that he is a strong contender to make his NHL debut in 2014-15. A focus area to improve his game this season? Lower body strength.
"I think the biggest thing was leg strength. You realize how much you have to skate throughout the year and how rough it gets in the corners and how strong you have to be on the puck. That's something I really focused on this year was a lot of lower body mobility and strength," said Puempel. "It's something I feel comfortable with now and something which, talking to Ottawa, was something I had to work on and single leg stuff. I feel good."
In 74 games with the Binghamton Senators last season, Puempel recorded 30 goals and 48 points as an AHL rookie. He earned the Binghamton Rookie of the Year award and finished amongst the AHL's rookie top-10 in both goals and points.