Prior to the NHL lockout, there was an enormous amount of talk regarding the free agent status of a young player who hadn’t even played in an NHL game. A second-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks in 2008, Justin Schultz became the most sought after off-season free agent when he was left unsigned following a stellar collegiate career at the University of Wisconsin. And where would you expect a young phenom to land these days? With the Edmonton Oilers, of course. The 22-year-old signed a two-year deal with the club that already features an embarrassment of under-23 future superstars.
After several years with a very strong group of prospects, the New York Rangers have graduated a lot of home-grown talent to the NHL team. The system remains strong defensively, but the only potential star in the system is winger Chris Kreider. Organizational depth in goaltending remains a weakness, with only Jason Missiaen and Scott Stajcer among the netminding prospects.