Photo: Forward Drew Shore is one of several Florida Panthers prospects playing in their first season of professional hockey. (Courtesy of Juan Salas/Icon SMI)
The Florida Panthers prospect pool has seen significant turnover at the minor league level over the last six months. Some players have graduated to the NHL while others have been traded. Several new faces have joined the professional ranks for the first time. After all of the movement is accounted for, what remains is perhaps the strongest minor league group of prospects the Panthers have had in a long time, if ever.
Photo: With 12 goals and 12 assists through 39 games, Tomas Kundratek has been the top producing defenseman for the Hershey Bears this season. (Mark Goldman/Icon SMI)
The Hershey Bears, the AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals, did not get as much help as many AHL teams did with the lockout. The team has struggled at times offensively, but has stayed in contention because of the play of goaltender Braden Holtby. With the NHL lockout over, Holtby was recalled to the big club, paving the way for Philipp Grubauer to lead the Bears in net.
Photo: The Washington Capitals organization is hoping goaltender Braden Holtby will be able to replicate his strong 2012 playoff performance over the span of an entire regular season. (Will Schneekloth/Icon SMI)
The Washington Capitals used the 2012 NHL draft as an opportunity to restock their prospect pool by adding 10 new players. Among the new additions are a mix of players who should have an impact in the next couple years, along with some longer term projects.