The Editor’s Desk, November, 2008

By Ken McKenna

With the leaves and the temperature both starting to fall, the seasonal transformation reminds us that we’re also fully into the latest hockey season.  For Hockey’s Future, that means more coverage of the prospects of your favorite NHL team or those prospects that may eventually become a part of some NHL organization.

In an effort to provide more interesting and timely coverage of the hockey prospect pantheon, Hockey’s Future has
added four new, monthly features to the articles we already publish.  These four features each sport their own theme, giving our readers a slightly different twist to the coverage we regularly provide.

The four features are the following:

Beyond Tomorrow – actually, this one is an old HF feature resurrected.  “Beyond Tomorrow” will cover prospects not yet eligible for the NHL Draft.  HF writer Leslie Treff will focus on some of the more notable players that could have their names called at the NHL Draft a couple of years down the road.  As an example, the first article will focus on  Windsor Spitfires’ scoring star Taylor Hall, who is not eligible for the draft until 2010.

Off the Radar – sometimes, prospects slip through the cracks without ever being drafted by an NHL club, yet they develop into players worthy of consideration from an NHL organization.  That will be the focus of "Off the Radar", to bring some attention to players whose talent might not be obvious to the casual observer, but that could be detected by a more keen observer of hockey talent.  Each month, one of our writers will profile just such a player, with the first example being the feature on Russian defensive prospect Grigori Panin.

On the Curve – in an effort to provide the readers with a glimpse of the prospects that are hot or not, HF provides its own take with this feature.  HF writers Jeff Dahlia and Ian Altenbaugh will look at the prospects in the Western and Eastern Conferences to find those players that are above the curve or below it.  This feature will be released for the first time around the middle of this month.

Prospect of the Month – as the title suggests, each month HF writer Ian Bross and a committee of writers will be combing through the performances of the prospects in the various NHL organizations to find the prospect whose achievements merit the weighty title of this feature.  This feature will focus on the prospects outside the NHL since we already have the prospects playing in the NHL covered in the “Calder Poll” series.  The monthly selection of a top prospect will be leading up to a “Prospect of the Year” selection, the first time that HF has presented such an honor.  The first article in this series highlighted Colorado Avalanche prospect T.J. Hensick as the October Prospect of the Month.

In addition to the four features mentioned above, we’ve also introduced a new series of articles we’ve tabbed as system audits.  These audits of the prospect pool of each of the 30 NHL clubs have been appearing over the course of the past month, so we hope that you’ve found these articles informative.  And this month, a more familiar series of articles will appear covering the junior prospects of the NHL teams.  And the organizational ranking group is currently working on the latest grading of each NHL club’s prospect pool, so we hope to have that released towards the end of November.

As always, then, another full month of coverage from the crew at Hockey’s Future.  We hope you’ll appreciate the new features we’ve introduced or will be introducing shortly.  If you are regular reader of HF, then thank you for making this site a favorite destination.  And if you are new to the HF experience, we hope you’ll continue to make this a site a regular stop in your daily surfing routine.

Ken McKenna
Managing Editor, Hockey’s Future