Strengths: The Islanders have depth both on forward and on defense. Ryan Strome is one of the top prospects in the world and the Islanders have surrounded him with other great offensive talent. Nino Niederreiter was rushed into the NHL last season but the Islanders have corrected their mistake and he is adjusting to the professional game quite well in the AHL. Top prospects at two positions, center Brock Nelson and defenseman Matt Donovan, have also found success as they develop in the AHL. Defenseman Griffin Reinhart has continued to build on his strong draft season and looks like he will be an impact player in the NHL sooner rather than later.
Weaknesses: The Islanders are thin on the wing outside of Niederreiter and Kirill Kabanov and should look to add a few more players at the position in this year's NHL Draft.
Top 5 Prospects: 1. Ryan Strome, C; 2. Griffin Reinhart, D; 3. Matt Donovan, D; 4. Nino Niederreiter, LW; 5. Brock Nelson, C.
Added: Thomas Hickey, Joey Diamond.
Strengths: The Devils greatest strength is their depth on defense and in goal at the pro level. Jon Merrill is a blue-chip prospect, leading a defensive corps that includes Alexander Urbom and Eric Gelinas at the pro level and Damon Severson at the junior level. The club is well-stocked in goal at the pro level, with Scott Wedgewood leading the group in terms of long-term potential. Stefan Matteau, who already made his NHL debut with the Devils during the 2012-13 season, and Reid Boucher have the potential to develop into productive players at the NHL level.
Weaknesses: The New Jersey system lacks the overall level of talent to match up with most teams. Beyond the team's top two forward prospects, there is a steep drop in terms of talent and potential offensive impact. Depth at forward, particularly on the right wing, is lacking. Beyond the three goalie prospects at the pro level, the team does not have any more netminders at lower levels of play.
Top 5 Prospects: 1. Jon Merrill, D; 2. Scott Wedgewood, G; 3. Alexander Urbom, D; 4. Eric Gelinas, D; 5. Damon Severson, D.
Lost to Graduation: Andrei Loktionov.
Strengths: The Rangers have two players in J.T. Miller and Chris Kreider who are close to being impact forwards in the NHL. They also have several others, such as Christian Thomas, Jesper Fasth, and Marek Hrivik who have the potential to be talented top-nine forwards in the NHL. Dylan McIlrath and Brady Skjei are defensemen with top-four potential who bring distinctively different skill-sets to the organization.
Weaknesses: The Rangers need an offensive defenseman capable of logging a lot of minutes in all situations. Beyond McIlrath and Skjei, there are no top-four defensive prospects. The organization lacks an heir apparent to Henrik Lundqvist.
Top 5 Prospects: 1. Chris Kreider, LW; 2. J.T. Miller, RW; 3. Dylan McIlrath, D; 4. Jesper Fasth, RW; 5. Christian Thomas, LW.
Lost to Graduation: Mats Zuccarello, Stu Bickel.
Lost to Trade: Blake Parlett (CBJ), Steven Delisle (CBJ).
Added: Conor Allen, Tommy Hughes, Brandon Mashinter, Michael Kantor, Josh Nicholls.
Strengths: The Philadelphia Flyers have a multitude of players with NHL experience, including Erik Gustafsson, Oliver Lauridsen, Brandon Manning, Tye McGinn, and Eric Wellwood. They also possess fairly good depth on defense and have a lot of prospects who should develop into checking forwards in the NHL. Scott Laughton and Nick Cousins both look like they could be good top-nine forwards in the NHL.
Weaknesses: Anthony Stolarz is a decent prospect in net, but beyond him, there is not much in the way of goaltending prospects. The Flyers have good depth at forward and defense, but lack any prospects with elite potential. The lack of elite depth is particularly concerning on defense, as the Flyers already have a promising group of young forwards in the NHL.
Top 5 Prospects: 1. Scott Laughton, C; 2. Erik Gustafsson, D; 3. Nick Cousins, C; 4. Shayne Gostisbehere, D; 5. Anthony Stolarz, G.
Lost to Trade: Mike Testwuide (CGY), Harry Zolnierczyk (ANH).
Added: Mitch Wahl, Mark Alt, Kyle Flanagan, Brandon Alderson, Petr Straka.
Strengths: Even with the loss of defenseman Joe Morrow, the Penguins have one of the best groups of defensive prospects in the league, led by Derrick Pouliot, Simon Despres, and Olli Maatta. Beyond their blue chip defensive prospects, they have others such as Scott Harrington and Brian Dumoulin who have good NHL potential. Beau Bennett is a skilled winger who is already an electrifying NHL talent.
Weaknesses: The organization lost some depth on the wing with the trade of Ken Agostino and Ben Hanowski to Calgary. With the exception of Bennett, the group of forward prospects is either limited in their overall potential or, in the case of those with some upside, many years away from realizing whatever potential they may have.
Top 5 Prospects: 1. Derrick Pouliot, D; 2. Simon Despres, D; 3. Beau Bennett, RW; 4. Olli Maatta, D; 5. Brian Dumoulin, D.
Lost to Trade: Joe Morrow (DAL), Patrick Killeen (CBJ), Ken Agostino (CGY), Ben Hanowski (CGY).
Added: Eric Hartzell.