Photo: Detroit’s signing of Western Michigan defenseman Dan DeKeyser has improved the team’s breakout and transition game (courtesy of Steven King/Icon SMI)
Below is the middle section of the Hockey's Future Spring NHL Team Rankings, the staff's ranking of each NHL team's system based on the strength of the entire prospect pool. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The ranking is done twice a year, with this edition being an update to the Fall ranking.
Photo: After leading the USHL in scoring in 2011-12, Anaheim Ducks prospect Kevin Roy brought his scoring exploits to Northeastern University and did not disappoint (courtesy of Jim Pierce)
Northeastern’s 2012-13 season officially came to an end a little over a week ago with consecutive losses to Boston University, but the Huskies saw their playoff aspirations dashed the previous weekend after losing to and tying Maine in a two-game set. For freshman sensation Kevin Roy (ANA), the season ended even sooner as an injury sidelined him for Northeastern’s final five games.
Photo: Goaltender Andrey Makarov went 15-0 in the month of February. Makarov was signed by the Buffalo Sabres as a free agent in 2012. (Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Saskatoon Blades goaltender Andrey Makarov (BUF) is the Hockey's Future Prospect of the Month for February. The undrafted Russian goaltender rocked the WHL last month, posting a 15-0 record, a 1.72 goals-against average, a .948 save percentage, and two shutouts.
Photo: Kitchener Rangers goaltender John Gibson is nearing a return to the ice after being out of the Rangers’ lineup due to injury since mid-January. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
The Anaheim Ducks have been one of the more active drafting teams over the past three years and have had 23 selections since 2010. Across Europe, the NCAA, and the junior levels, the Ducks have reloaded and restocked their system with a mélange of different style players all with the same goal of reaching the NHL. The Ducks do not currently have any players in the USHL, but they do have five players playing in Canadian major junior leagues of the OHL, WHL, and QMJHL.
Photo: With 54 NHL games already under his belt, Devante Smith-Pelly is the leading left wing prospect in the Anaheim prospect pool. (courtesy of Ray Carlin/Icon SMI)
The Anaheim Ducks prospect system has a solid core and the future appears to be very bright. The club features great depth with young rising stars at each position. The Ducks have a few skaters whom many believe have the ability to make an immediate impact at the NHL level.