The Spring edition of the Hockey's Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects continues with the prospects ranked 21-30. This particular section of the rankings is led by dynamic young forward Nikita Kucherov, who is one of several promising young forwards playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
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In the 2013-14 season regular season, the WHL featured a talented variety of wingers that are currently NHL prospects. The focus of this article is on the those WHL wingers that are currently property of a National Hockey League team, six of whom have signed NHL contracts. Our ranking consists of seven Canadians and three imports. Seven toiled in the WHL’s Western Conference, and our ranking contains a couple sets of teammates.
The Edmonton Oilers have a healthy group of young talent in their European and NCAA prospect talent pools – while no single player stands out as a front runner for NHL success, a number of mid-rounders like Anton Slepyshev, Bogdan Yakimov, and Dillon Simpson show promising talent and a likelihood to at least earn a look at the top level.
New York Islanders GM Garth Snow has shown a tendency to use later round picks on players bound for the NCAA, giving them plenty of time to develop and work on any holes they have in their game. The Islanders have had some success with NCAA players recently drafting star Kyle Okposo as well as prospects such as Matt Donovan, Brock Nelson, or Anders Lee.
In today's salary-cap league, NHL teams need to pursue every available avenue to procure and retain good hockey players at reasonable cost. After going out and acquiring Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Jason Pominville and Dany Heatley, the Wild has had to bank on some of the longer-shots in its prospect group developing into dependable NHL players who can fill out a top-heavy roster cheaply and effectively.
The Spring edition of the Hockey's Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects begins with the prospects ranked 41-50. This group features several prospects on the verge of cracking an NHL roster on a full-time basis, as well as more recent draft picks who are finding breakout success in 2013-14.
Welcome to the March 2014 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various levels of competition who are either exceeding expectations or falling a little behind.
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