The Montreal Canadiens spent the 2013 off-season addressing various holes in their organizational depth chart and now have good balance throughout their system. Montreal's management philosophy is to give their prospects every opportunity to seize a spot on the NHL roster. The organization is not afraid to put rookies into regular season NHL games for evaluation purposes and the approach has worked very well so far.
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Currently amid a full-scale rebuild, the Buffalo Sabres have 43 prospects in their system, including seven first-round picks, giving them both quantity and quality at every position. The Sabres also have many prospects already contributing at the NHL level, including forwards Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko, and Johan Larsson.
The first quarter of the Swedish Hockey League’s 2013-14 season has come and passed, and there’s plenty to be happy about in the scouting community. The number of young, recently drafted players currently dotting the rosters of both SHL and Allsvenskan (second highest men’s professional league in Sweden) clubs is about as impressive as ever, as professional teams continue to have little concern about going to battle with line-ups that often only feature an average age of 23-25.
Over the summer, Connor Crisp added a couple more jerseys to his collection, being drafted by the Montreal Canadiens and being part of an early September trade to Sudbury. But far from being thrown to the Wolves, Crisp said the transition has been more positive than he could have imagined.
Hockey's Future presents the top grouping of the Fall NHL Team Rankings. The staff's ranking of each NHL team's system is based on the strength of the entire prospect pool. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice a year, with this ranking meant to represent the state of the prospect pools in the early stages of the 2013-14 season.
Playing for a disappointing Ottawa 67's team that was one of the weaker teams in the OHL last season, Calgary Flames rookie Sean Monahan was overshadowed by forwards such as Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin of the Memorial Cup-winning Halifax Mooseheads heading into the 2013 NHL Draft.
After a slow start to the 2013-14 season, the Rochester Americans seem to have righted the ship heading into November. A big part of their recent success has been two defensemen that are poised to play at the next level in the very near future.
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