The final section of the Hockey’s Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects features the least controversial 1-2 ranking in memory. Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres are two of the most dynamic young players to arrive on the NHL scene since Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin debuted a decade ago. Read more »
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The Florida Panthers have been fortunate—or unfortunate, depending on how you look at it—enough to draft high in the recent NHL drafts. Players like Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov have quickly made the leap to the NHL, leaving the organization with few high-profile prospects, outside of recent first-round pick Lawson Crouse, who was returned to junior. Yet, the Panthers have strong organizational depth, particularly at left wing and defense. Most wingers are capable of playing both wings, but the fact that the Panthers have just three primary right wing prospects is a bit concerning. Read more »
With new management comes a new direction for the New Jersey Devils. Under the guidance of General Manager Ray Shero and Head Coach John Hynes, the team is shifting its focus from the backend to the attack. The burden now falls onto the current crop of prospects within the system, most of whom were signed from the Lou Lamoriello era. They will be challenged to determine whether they are NHL players or hurdles for the next wave of players to surpass in this new era of Devils hockey. Read more »
The Winnipeg Jets under current GM Kevin Cheveldayoff have assembled an impressive group of prospects, and the appearance of three of those young prospects in the 21-30 grouping of the Hockey’s Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects is further evidence of young talent that has or will arrive in the near future. Read more »
With the Boston Bruins finishing just two points out of a playoff spot last year, Peter Chiarelli leaving Boston for the Edmonton Oilers, and long-time Bruin and fan favorite Milan Lucic being traded to the Los Angeles Kings in the offseason, many experts pegged the Bruins as a rebuilding team. Incoming General Manager Don Sweeney adamantly disagreed—despite the fact the team had three first-round picks on draft day. Read more »
It really can be hard to nail down whether or not the Kings system took a step back or forward over the course of a year. The team has traded away tons of picks and prospects in order to go into a win-now mode. That has significantly lessened the top end prospect quality that the franchise has currently. Moving potentially high level players like Colin Miller (BOS) – and to a lesser degree Roland McKeown (CAR) – has been costly for the system. However, the Kings have continued to thrive and make up a lot of the void in smart player development.
The Montreal Canadiens have been known for excellent drafting and patience in prospect development, and we are beginning to see major results. Several of their first- and second-round selections are on the verge of taking the next big step to becoming a regular NHL player, after progressing through the farm system. Among those names, Nikita Scherbak and Mike McCarron head the list, with Charles Hudon trailing not too far behind—all names that are a big part of the team in Saint John’s. Read more »