Photo: Gustav Nyquist is poised for full-time duty in Detroit after strong playoff runs in both the NHL and in Grand Rapids, which won the 2013 Calder Cup (courtesy of Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
They are not prominent, but if you pay close attention the signs are all there. Cars left out overnight have dew on the windows, a few leaves are scattered beneath certain trees, and school supplies are pushed to the front of most stores; Fall is just around the corner. With Fall comes another hockey season, this time for every level of hockey (NHL included).
Photo: Halifax Mooseheads teammates Jonathan Drouin (L) and Nathan MacKinnon (C) were two of the top three picks at the 2013 NHL Draft, along with Aleksander Barkov (R) (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)
The 2013 draft eligible class from the QMJHL was touted as being one of the strongest in recent memory, and they certainly lived up to that billing at the NHL Draft.
Photo: The Red Wings traded down from 18th to 20th overall and still added a talented goal-scorer to the coffers in Val-d’Or winger Anthony Mantha (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)
The Detroit Red Wings entered the 2013 NHL Draft with the 18th overall selection, their earliest first round pick since the beginning of the 1990s. This understandably led to high expectations in the Motor City and the Red Wings did not disappoint, dealing their first round pick to San Jose for the 20th and 58th overall picks. Detroit then wasted no time in selecting the draft's lone 50 goal-scorer in Anthony Mantha before bolstering the system with gritty, skilled two-way forwards and hulking defensemen.
Photo: Halifax Mooseheads forwards Jonathan Drouin (L) and Nathan MacKinnon (R) head a strong 2013 draft class from the QMJHL (courtesy of Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
If the pre-draft hype is to be believed, 2013 will be a banner year for draft-eligible players coming out of the QMJHL. Not only is the league celebrating their third consecutive Memorial Cup championship, this time led by a pair of draft-eligible Halifax Mooseheads in Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin, but as many as eight or nine QMJHL players could be selected in the first round of this year's draft.
Photo: Top 2013 NHL Draft prospects Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Drouin, Nathan MacKinnon, and Seth Jones will learn where they begin their professional careers at this month’s draft (courtesy of Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Stanley Cup Finals are still underway between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks, but much of the attention around the NHL has turned to the 2013 NHL Draft, scheduled for June 30th at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.