The Pittsburgh Penguins front office has shown a preference for selecting mobile, puck-moving defensemen early and often in the NHL Draft. The organization believes puck-moving defensemen hold premium value in the NHL, and by having several with very high pedigree, they are in a position of strength.
In a low-scoring season that you might consider a struggle, the Norfolk Admirals and the Anaheim Ducks still have a lot to look forward to with several young and promising players suiting up for the team. Between a few solid goaltenders, some talented forwards, and at least one AHL All-rookie team defenseman, the Ducks can look at their AHL system with a promising eye. Many of the prospects are on the cusp of becoming NHL players, and as the AHL season has come to an end many of them have made noteworthy cases for being considered for a spot with the big club next season.
The Phantoms' franchise, even before it moved to Glens Falls to become the Adirondack Phantoms, has been in a state of struggle underneath a successful NHL franchise. This comes despite a large amount of success from drafted prospects. The Phantoms have not really been successful since winning the Calder Cup during the NHL lockout year of 2004-05. Two early exits from the postseason over the course of what will be seven seasons of hockey does not suggest a steady foundation of prospects on which to build an NHL franchise.
While the Philadelphia Flyers prospect pool consistently hovers near the bottom of the league, it is not for a lack of production. A steady stream of graduates has kept the team rotating through young talent since the end of the 2004-05 NHL Lockout. Though they once again lack blue-chip prospects within their pool, most of the weight for the future of the team is carried by young NHL players such as Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Sean Couturier, and the Schenn brothers, Luke and Brayden.