Below is the bottom third of the NHL Team Rankings in terms of prospects as voted on by Hockey's Future staff. To determine the ranking, each team's entire prospect pool was taken into consideration. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice a year, with the second scheduled to be published in the Spring.
For many years running now the Los Angeles Kings have had one of the best youth systems in the NHL. However, with promotions of players, deals involving picks, and later round selections, the pool has diminished slightly over time. It is the natural progression of a rebuilding mode that has given the organization three top-five picks since 2007 and seven top-15 picks since 2005.
Winning the Stanley Cup is a proud moment for an the entire organization from top to bottom, but while the players, coaching staff, and upper management get much of the publicized credit, scouting and development personnel rarely get their due praise.
Thanks to graduations and trades, Thomas Hickey was the only former first-round pick among the Los Angeles Kings’ prospects last season. Thin on high-profile selections, the Kings system was replete with well-rounded players seeking to strengthen their identity to carve niches at the next level. However, it was also brimming with character, industriousness, and a number of players who exceeded expectations. Shifting from high selections and home-run swings, the Kings have sought to invest later selections shrewdly as they have solidified their pro roster, which captured the Stanley Cup this past season.
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