Photo: The Buffalo Sabres added to their already deep draft pool with nine selections at the 2014 NHL Draft, including first round pick Sam Reinhart (L) and second round selection Brandon Lemieux (R) (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The NHL's Western Conference currently has the bragging rights to league supremacy as a a result of the Los Angeles Kings five-game Stanley Cup final win over the New York Rangers. While the results from the 2014 NHL Draft may not alter the current lock the West has on the NHL's most prized trophy, at least one team in the Eastern Conference might be offering a ray of hope for the future.
Photo: Forward Mike McCarron underwent some growing pains in his first full season of OHL hockey. The Montreal Canadiens selected McCarron 25th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)
The Montreal Canadiens surprised many hockey experts by finishing the 2013-14 NHL season fourth in the Eastern Conference and hitting the 100-point total. The team's successful run into the conference finals during the NHL playoffs showed the Canadiens are on the cusp of being a contending team in the East.
Photo: Defenseman Aaron Ekblad (left) and forwards Sam Reinhart (center) and Sam Bennett (right) will learn where they begin their professional careers at the 2014 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images and Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Now that the Los Angeles Kings have hoisted their second Stanley Cup in three years, the hockey world can now focus on the 2014 NHL Draft that will take place on June 27th and 28th at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Photo: Goaltender Dustin Tokarski made his NHL playoff debut on May 19th, 2014, starting in place for an injured Carey Price. Though the Canadiens lost in six to the New York Rangers, Tokarski was solid, managing a 2-3 record and a 2.60 goals against average. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
With the Hamilton Bulldogs failing to capture an AHL playoff spot, the Montreal Canadiens recalled a large group of prospects, including Nathan Beaulieu and Dustin Tokarski, as the Black Aces practice squad. Michael Bournival and Jarred Tinordi were already playing at the NHL level at the end of the NHL regular season and were part of Montreal's playoff roster.
Photo: Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen leads a deep group of Buffalo Sabres prospects (courtesy of Mark Buckner/NHLI via Getty Images)
Hockey's Future presents the top group of the 2014 Spring NHL Team Rankings. The teams are ranked by the overall quality of their prospect pool as voted on by the HF staff. For reference, 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 this edition being an update to the Fall rankings. Each team's Fall ranking is listed in parenthesis next to their current ranking.