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: Bruising winger Josh Brittain is one of only four Anaheim draft picks from 2008 that is still part of the Ducks system (courtesy of Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Drafting is not always an exact science, and scouting is indeed one of the toughest jobs in the world. In 2008, the Anaheim Ducks had a draft you could describe as disappointing. While the franchise hit big with talented blueliners in Jake Gardiner and Justin Schultz, neither would ever don an Anaheim uniform, instead breaking into the NHL with Toronto and Edmonton respectively. The rest of the draft was a mixed bag of busts, project players, and depth acquisitions. While every draft is going to have the aforementioned group, the Ducks had very little to take away from a 2008 NHL Draft class that has produced many NHL players across all rounds.
Photo: Nail Yakupov, shown here celebrating a late game-tying goal against Los Angeles in January, takes over the top spot in the Oilers mid-season Top 20 ranking (courtesy of Chris Austin/Icon SMI)
The Edmonton Oilers Spring Top 20 saw very little movement in the top 10 ranks while the bottom 10 prospects were shuffled more drastically. The top 10 features a number of highly skilled prospects who are either currently filling regular spots on the Oilers' roster such as Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz or are looking slated to do so in the future.
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.