The Minnesota Wild brain trust heads to the draft without a first round pick for the first time in franchise history. High expectations buoyed by the acquisition of bona fide stars Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in July 2012 led management to make a somewhat hasty trade as the shortened NHL season waned, sending Johan Larsson, Matt Hackett, this year's first round pick, and next year's second round pick away for Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville. While Pominville is certainly a good player who adds a needed dimension to the offense-starved Wild, the price may have been too high.
Most of the Wild's prospect group saw at least some postseason action this year. While the pro teams, the Minnesota Wild and Houston Aeros, did not have much success, a handful of prospects experienced deep playoff runs that should help prepare them as players to compete for hockey's ultimate prize.
Welcome to the final 2012-13 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various competition levels who are either exceeding expectations or falling a little behind. With many leagues around the world approaching their finals or already finished, we take a look at some of the prospects who stood out over the course of the season. While some players proved to be farther along than initially expected, there are also those prospects who did not develop as planned in 2012-13.
Most of the professional leagues around the world of hockey are done or wrapping up their playoffs. The prospect awards are really an opportunity to assess what some players were able to accomplish in their seasons, good, bad, or mixed, and to look forward to next season.
New York Islanders prospect Ryan Strome leads the 11-20 section of the Hockey's Future Spring ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects. Strome was one of the most productive players in the OHL this season, and was Mr. Everything for the Niagara IceDogs, figuring into over 40 percent of their total offense. He was not the only notable player to move up in the prospect rankings, however.