Jason Spezza has had a great start to his career. He joined the elite company of Wayne Gretzky and Eric Lindros as being only the 3rd player to represent Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships as a 16-year old. This feat was also accomplished the same year by Jay Bouwmeester and was repeated by Sidney Crosby in 2004. Spezza was a highly regarded prospect, but took some time to move to the NHL, playing with the Senators AHL affiliate. He was called up on a few occasions, though and during one stint with Ottawa he helped the team win critical games in the 2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He played a full season with the Senators in 2003-2004 and had a solid year.
During the NHL lockout, Spezza returned to the AHL and, with 117 points, was the highest scorer in the league by a considerable margin, and the first to record so many points in several years. With centres Radek Bonk and Todd White traded during the off season, Spezza began the 2005 season as Ottawa's first line centre, playing between Dany Heatley and rookie Brandon Bochenski. After Bochenski was sent down to the AHL, Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson took his place beside Spezza and Heatley. That line would become one of the most dominant lines in hockey, making a major impact in the playoffs of the 2006-2007 season as everyone knows.
Spezza is one of the best complete young players in the NHL. With a loaded career ahead of him and with great young career behind him, things are looking up for the young centreman. Spezza played for quite some time on a bit of a short leash, making things interesting for the young player on the Senators. Now that he is allowed lots of ice time and the ability to be creative, his full potential is able to flourish and we will have a chance to see what Spezza can do in key situations.