With the graduation of Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, and Brian Lashoff from the prospects ranks, the Detroit Red Wings have seen the first wave of their youth movement arrive in the NHL. The door has been opened for new prospects to enter the ranks of the Top 20, with Mitch Callahan and Luke Glendening taking full advantage.
The drive from Grand Rapids to Detroit is rather unremarkable. Flat land and clusters of trees pockmark the edge of the highway.
It has been a gradual change, but most things associated with the Detroit Red Wings work that way. In a salary-cap constrained hockey landscape, Detroit can no longer simply outspend other franchises; Detroit knew this eight seasons ago and began to stockpile talent through the NHL Draft.
The Fall 2013 edition of the Hockey's Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects has been released, but there are many very talented players who did not make the cut. Ranking the prospects was especially difficult given the sheer volume of quality players who did not graduate because of the truncated 2012-13 NHL season.
They are not prominent, but if you pay close attention the signs are all there. Cars left out overnight have dew on the windows, a few leaves are scattered beneath certain trees, and school supplies are pushed to the front of most stores; Fall is just around the corner. With Fall comes another hockey season, this time for every level of hockey (NHL included).