Photo: Ottawa Senators defenseman Cody Ceci is tied for fourth in scoring by a defenseman at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, posting one goal and four assists in six games for the unbeaten Canadian squad (courtesy of Pavel Bednyakov/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
The next generation of Canadian defensemen.
That’s what they’re saying about the crop of defenders that have come out of the 2012 NHL Draft, and six of those are currently playing for Team Canada at the IIHF World Championship in Russia. Read more»
Photo: Swedish defenseman Mattias Ekholm, a 2009 fourth-round selection, skated in his first full season of NHL hockey with Nashville in 2013-14 (courtesy of Danny Murphy/Icon SMI)
The Nashville Predators finished 2008-09 in a then-unfamiliar position: within sight of a playoff berth but nonetheless short of the mark.
Photo: Defenseman Ryan Ellis is part of a young group of Nashville blueliners trying to help the team recover from the loss of Ryan Suter. (courtesy of Danny Murphy/Icon SMI)
The Nashville Predators have been one of the most consistent teams over the last five years in terms of style of play. Barry Trotz and David Poile always put a team on the ice that has a defense-first mentality, and the system that the Milwaukee Admirals employ develops players that fit this mold perfectly. Homegrown players like Jonathon Blum, Roman Josi, and Gabriel Bourque have successfully made the transition from prospect to full time NHL player, and there are other players, such as Ryan Ellis, that are looking to make that jump soon as well.
Photo: Finnish defenseman Mattias Ekholm is one of three defensive prospects on the Milwaukee Admirals roster with NHL experience. (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Nashville Predators have traditionally been a team that appears to be both on the verge of a rebuild and getting ready for a championship run. This is mirrored by their AHL and ECHL prospects, who could be considered phenomenal fits for the system run by the Predators but are also a little weaker in terms of talent compared to other teams.
Photo: After playing the past three seasons in Finland, defenseman Sami Vatanen made his way to North America and currently plays for the AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks. (Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Below is the middle section Hockey’s Future’s NHL Team Rankings. The teams are ranked in terms of the quality of their overall prospect pool as voted on by the staff of Hockey's Future. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice a year, with the second scheduled to be published in the Spring.