Top 50: Vladimir Tarasenko heads HF’s ranking of the top NHL prospects

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Vladimir Tarasenko - St. Louis Blues

Photo: St. Louis Blues prospect Vladimir Tarasenko has been brilliant in his NHL rookie season. Tarasenko was drafted 16th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)

While picking the top NHL prospect is never an easy task, it was particularly difficult in the Spring Top 50 rankings as there were several candidates worthy of consideration for top prospect. Many prospects performed at a high level this season, particularly in the NHL, where a truncated regular season has seen over 125 rookies lace up for at least one game.

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Top 50: Islanders well represented in 11-20 section of 2013 Spring prospect rankings

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Ryan Strome - New York Islanders

Photo: New York Islanders prospect Ryan Strome was fantastic this season for the Niagara IceDogs of the OHL. In 53 games, Strome netted 34 goals and 60 assists (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

New York Islanders prospect Ryan Strome leads the 11-20 section of the Hockey's Future Spring ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects. Strome was one of the most productive players in the OHL this season, and was Mr. Everything for the Niagara IceDogs, figuring into over 40 percent of their total offense. He was not the only notable player to move up in the prospect rankings, however.

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Top 50: Brodin leads middle group in 2013 Spring prospect rankings

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Jonas Brodin - Minnesota Wild

Photo: Defenseman Jonas Brodin has been impressive for the Minnesota Wild. The 19-year-old Swede leads all rookies in average ice time. (courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

Many of the players in the middle section of the Hockey's Future 2013 Spring ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects have experienced excellent growth over the past season and have risen in the ranks as a result. Among the most notable is Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin, who has played well for the Wild in a shutdown role alongside Ryan Suter.

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Top 50: Lehner among biggest risers in 2013 Spring rankings

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Robin Lehner - Ottawa Senators

Photo: Goaltender Robin Lehner has been spectacular since his call-up to the NHL this season. Lehner is one of many rookies to perform well for the Senators in 2012-13 (courtesy of Jay Kopinski/Icon SMI)

Nine of the 10 players featured in the 31-40 spots of the Hockey's Future Spring ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects were also ranked in the Fall edition, though there has been some significant movement throughout the grouping. Much of the movement has to do with how some of these players have dealt with adjusting to a new level of competition this season, with some excelling and others struggling.

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Top 50: Tyler Toffoli headlines bottom group of 2013 Spring rankings

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Tyler Toffoli - Los Angeles Kings

Photo: Forward Tyler Toffoli has been impressive in his first professional season, managing about a point-per-game in the AHL before getting called up to play in the NHL with the Kings (courtesy of Ric Tapia/Icon SMI)

The Spring edition of the Hockey's Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects begins with the prospects ranked 41-50. The emergence of many new rookies in the truncated NHL season presented the ranking committee with a formidable challenge. The result is a diverse group of prospects at different stages in their development, from those on the verge of NHL stardom to project players who are still years away from helping their NHL club on a nightly basis.

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