Strengths: The Sharks have a good variety of defensemen in the prospect system: offensive puck-movers, excellent skaters, as well as big, physical defenders who can play the shutdown role. The organization has good quality of depth at the goaltender position. San Jose has a wealth of depth at the center position and could convert some of those prospects to the wings. The Sharks are among the best at scouting and developing NCAA talent.
Weaknesses: San Jose has little to no depth after Matt Nieto at the wing positions. There is a lack of high-end prospects in the organization that might be top-six forwards at the NHL and only Tomas Hertl has impact talent potential. The rest of the Shark's forward prospects are possible role or depth players with some offensive talents and upside if all goes well with their development. The Sharks have too many high-risk/high-reward type prospects that are still a few years away from possibly playing at the NHL level.
Top 5 Prospects: 1. Tomas Hertl, C; 2. Matt Nieto, RW; 3. Matt Tennyson, D; 4. Freddie Hamilton, C; 5. Chris Tierney, C.
Lost to Graduation: Tommy Wingels.
Lost to Trade: Brandon Mashinter (NYR).
Added: Troy Grosenick, Eriah Hayes, Rylan Schwartz, Daniil Tarasov.
Strengths: The Red Wings have depth at every position in the system. Although they have a lot of players with boom or bust potential, players like Brendan Smith, Gustav Nyquist, and Tomas Tatar have already enjoyed some success at the NHL level. Recent free agent signing Dan DeKeyser adds to an already stacked defensive pool that includes 2012-13 OHL Defenseman of the Year Ryan Sproul and Xavier Ouellet. Highly-touted Swedish forward Calle Jarnkrok has made the transition to North America and is adjusting well to the AHL. Jarnkrok has the potential to be a top-six playmaker.
Weaknesses: Goaltending is one position where the Wings should look to add. Petr Mrazek has adjusted well to the professional game and Jake Paterson arguably carried the Saginaw Spirit into the playoffs on his back, but outside of those two there is not much depth.
Top 5 Prospects: 1. Brendan Smith, D; 2. Gustav Nyquist, LW; 3. Petr Mrazek, G; 4. Tomas Tatar, LW; 5. Calle Jarnkrok, C.
Added: Dan DeKeyser, Jared Coreau.
Strengths: Ryan Murray's Columbus debut was delayed a year by a shoulder injury, but he remains one of the top defensive prospects outside of the NHL. The Jackets already have had contributions from defensive prospects Tim Erixon, David Savard, Dalton Prout, and Cody Goloubef during the 2012-13 season. Matt Calvert graduated to the NHL club and Cam Atkinson is not too far behind him. Boone Jenner and Lukas Sedlak are examples of the size and grit in the forward pipeline. Oscar Dansk and Joonas Korpisalo were added at the 2012 NHL Draft to give the Jackets multiple options in goal down the road.
Weaknesses: After Atkinson graduates, the scoring potential in the system decreases sharply. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault and T.J. Tynan have both been productive at their respective levels of play but there are questions about whether the undersized forwards can maintain that production in the NHL. There is little depth to be found at the left wing and center positions.
Top 5 Prospects: 1. Ryan Murray, D; 2. Cam Atkinson, RW; 3. Tim Erixon, D; 4. Boone Jenner, C; 5. Oscar Dansk, G.
Lost to Graduation: Matt Calvert.
Lost to Trade: Tomas Kubalik (WPG).
Added: Spencer Machacek, Steven Delisle, Blake Parlett, Patrick Killeen.
Strengths: The Predators have excellent quantity and quality in their group of prospects, but supplemented it with the addition of an elite two-way forward prospect in Filip Forsberg. The organization has been very successful for years at developing and drafting to fit their defensive system. Nashville has stockpiled many two-way forwards, some of whom have already been called upon at the NHL level.
Weaknesses: Outside of Forsberg, the system lacks players with any sort of offensive pedigree and, in general, suffers from an overall lower level of talent than many teams ahead of them. Nashville has a lack of depth on the right wing and center but still has versatility amongst their forward prospects.
Top 5 Prospects: 1. Austin Watson, C/RW; 2. Pontus Aberg, LW; 3. Zach Budish, RW; 4. Mattias Ekholm, D; 5. Jimmy Vesey, LW.
Lost to Graduation: Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, Jonathon Blum, Gabriel Bourque.
Lost to Trade: Michael Latta (WAS), Jani Lajunen (STL).
Added: Filip Forsberg.
Strengths: Despite the loss of forward prospect Johan Larsson and goaltending prospect Matt Hackett, the Minnesota Wild still boast one of the most impressive groups of prospects in the NHL. On the forward side, Minnesota is loaded with a very talented group of offensively-gifted forwards in Jason Zucker, Charlie Coyle, and Mikael Granlund, and farther down potential producers in Erik Haula and Zack Phillips. Defensively, Jonas Brodin has been a standout in his rookie season at the NHL level, and Mathew Dumba still projects to be a marvelous puck-mover at the NHL level when he is ready. Despite the loss of Hackett in net, the team still has Darcy Kuemper, who was starting to overtake Hackett, and Johan Gustafsson, who helped Lulea to an appearance in the SEL championship series.
Weaknesses: Aside from Dumba and Brodin, there is a questionable amount of talent at the back end. The same could be said for the wing corps, which suffers from a considerable drop-off in scoring talent after the top tier.
Top 5 Prospects: 1. Mikael Granlund, C; 2. Jonas Brodin, D; 3. Charlie Coyle, RW/C; 4. Mathew Dumba, D; 5. Jason Zucker, C.
Lost to Trade: Matt Hackett (BUF), Johan Larsson (BUF), Chay Genoway (WAS).