Photo: Taylor Hall was the first of three consecutive first overall picks made by the Edmonton Oilers from 2010 to 2012 (courtesy of Vincent Muzik/Icon SMI)
For the first time in four years, the Edmonton Oilers will not be taking the first overall pick in the NHL Draft. Although they failed to make the playoffs for the seventh straight year, the Oilers managed to climb a bit farther up the ladder and landed at 24th in the league after the regular season. Soon after came the dismissal of General Manager Steve Tambellini, only to be replaced by former head coach Craig MacTavish, who is anticipated to make some big changes for the club.
Photo: The first overall pick in 2012, Nail Yakupov finished his first NHL season with the most goals (17) and tied for the most points (31) among rookies (courtesy of Dustin Bradford/Icon SMI)
This is the second edition of the Edmonton Oilers yearly prospect awards. After missing the playoffs for the seventh year in a row, the Oilers are looking to make some big changes in their roster and have a strong reliance on a deep prospect pool. The 2012-13 season saw great improvements for some, while others fell short of expectations. The Oilers have some strong defensive prospects in the pipeline with a mix of skilled but not yet fully-developed talent on their front end.
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: 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: 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.