Photo: Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau edged out the Montreal Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher as HF’s pick for NHL Rookie of the Year (courtesy of Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
Hockey's Future polled their staff to find out who their choice was for the 2013 Calder Trophy. As it was last season, when Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog narrowly edged out Edmonton center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, this year's contest came down to two forwards.
Photo: A high scoring forward in the QMJHL, Logan Shaw is expected to develop into complementary forward at the professional level. Shaw managed 68 points in 67 games with the Quebec Remparts this season. (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
The 2012-13 season marked a pivotal point for numerous prospects in the Florida Panthers system. Seven different players (Jonathan Huberdeau, Drew Shore, Alex Petrovic, Quinton Howden, Nick Bjugstad, Michael Caruso, and Eric Selleck) made their NHL debuts this year. Others, including 2012 first-round pick Mike Matheson, launched their collegiate or professional careers. The players below have all gained recognition for their play, but given the breadth of talent in the system, each of these awards could have been handed out to several different players.
Photo: Montreal Canadiens' rookies Alex Galchenyuk (L) and Brendan Gallagher (R) have played a major role in the Canadiens' turnaround season (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
In what is looking like it will come down to a two-player race, Florida winger Jonathan Huberdeau, who continues to lead the disappointing Florida Panthers in scoring, and 20-year-old Brendan Gallagher, who has played a key role for the surprising Montreal Canadiens, have begun to move clear from the rest of the rookie field.
Photo: St. Louis Blues prospect Vladimir Tarasenko has been brilliant in his NHL rookie season. Tarasenko was drafted 16th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
While picking the top NHL prospect is never an easy task, it was particularly difficult in the Spring Top 50 rankings as there were several candidates worthy of consideration for top prospect. Many prospects performed at a high level this season, particularly in the NHL, where a truncated regular season has seen over 125 rookies lace up for at least one game.
Photo: Forward Nick Bjugstad's decision to return to Minnesota for another season has paid off, as the Golden Gophers have been among the top teams in the nation. (courtesy of Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Since the beginning of the truncated NHL season in January, several of the Florida Panthers prospects have had a chance to play in the NHL, and their experiences with the big club have helped to shuffle the order of the organization's top 20 prospects.