The Fall edition of Hockey's Future's ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects begins with the prospects ranked 41-50. The addition of the 2012 NHL Draft picks to an already diverse and talented NHL prospect pool presented the committee with a formidable challenge. The result is a diverse group of prospects at different stages in their development, from those on the verge of NHL stardom to project players who are still years away from helping their NHL club on a nightly basis.
The Winnipeg Jets stuck with their established drafting trends in 2012, staying in North America and looking for size, strength, and strong character. They added a stud defenseman from the US National Development Team with their first rounder, and some additional size and sandpaper to their forward group in the later rounds. The search for additional goalie depth took them to unfamiliar territory however, with a fifth rounder from the NAHL and a seventh rounder from the OJHL.
The U.S. NTDP program has been prolific in recent years in terms of producing high-end NHL Draft prospects, and the 2012 NHL Draft is no exception. Three players from this program were chosen in the draft's first round, with Winnipeg Jets selection Jacob Trouba being the highest at ninth overall.
This year's crop of draft-eligible players overflows with talented defensemen, as 2012's blueliners possess the potential to fill out half of the first round.