The 2012-13 season will go down as a major turning point in the San Jose Sharks prospect pool. Long gone are the days of shallow pools and bleak futures. In fact, if this season was any indication of the growth and development process the Sharks management group has in place, big things could be coming to the Sharks in the coming years.
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Despite lacking a lot of depth and talent, the Carolina Hurricanes organization has top-end prospects in the pipeline, including the offensively talented defenseman Ryan Murphy, and a potential rising offensive star in Victor Rask. There are also several good depth defensemen who, in the near future, could solidify the Carolina blue line.
Detroit's run through the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs was surprising to many. Perhaps more surprising is depth of talent they have in their pipeline. The Detroit Red Wings boast some exceptional prospects who have the potential to be future stars in the NHL. The following awards feature the Red Wings prospects who stood out above the rest. The fact that no player won multiple awards is indicative of the depth of Detroit's talent pool.
The Chicago Blackhawks prospect pool had plenty of notable performances during the 2012-13 season, particularly at the AHL level, where the Rockford IceHogs went on another late-season run only to come up just short of the playoffs for the third straight season. Many of the club's CHL prospects also had standout seasons, with two Blackhawks prospects still competing for their respective clubs at the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup.
The prospect pool for the Philadelphia Flyers is consistently one of the more diminished gatherings of young talent every year, but they rarely miss on top-end talent when given the opportunity to acquire it. Because of their lack of picks and their aggressive style of team-building, it is far more important for the organization to consistently hit on their high draft picks as well as attract some of the better free agent prospects on the market every year.
Built almost entirely out of the later rounds of the draft, the San Jose Sharks NCAA prospect pool features a good mix of size and a small handful of potential NHL regulars. Of the 10 Sharks prospects who played college hockey during the 2012-13 season, eight were selected in the fifth round or later.
The puck drops for the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup starting Friday evening at 6 PM CST. The host city’s Saskatoon Blades take on the Ontario Hockey League champion London Knights to kick off a tournament that features the CHL’s three top-ranked clubs (and the unranked hosts). In addition, several highly-ranked 2013 prospects plus many well-regarded NHL prospects will be taking part in this tournament.
The Calgary Flames prospects at the NHL level were unable to gain any post-season playing experience and the Abbotsford Heat failed to qualify for the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs. At the lower levels this spring, only the CHL prospects were experiencing playoff hockey as the European and NCAA prospects had already finished up their seasons.
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