Photo: The third of five Anaheim picks in 2013, defenseman Keaton Thompson made his college hockey debut with the University of North Dakota in 2013-14 (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
The Anaheim Ducks enter the summer of 2014 with a bit of disappointment after losing to the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the Los Angeles Kings, in the second round despite finishing atop the NHL standings at the conclusion of the regular season. Their performance this season was seen as a pleasant surprise though, and with so many young players within the organization showing promise, there is plenty to look forward to for Ducks fans.
Photo: Originally called up to Anaheim due to injuries, Frederik Andersen won 20 games in 28 appearances as an NHL rookie in 2013-14 (courtesy of Chris Williams/Icon SMI)
The Anaheim Ducks organization enjoyed success not only at the NHL level, but nearly across the board in terms of their prospects as well. While most predicted the Ducks would make the playoffs, few could have expected a 116-point season to finish atop the Western Conference.
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.
Photo: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm finished second in scoring among rookie defensemen in the 2013-14 regular season, behind Boston Bruins’ rookie defender Torey Krug (courtesy of John Cordes/Icon SMI)
He was a surprise top-10 selection at the 2012 NHL Draft, but Anaheim Ducks rookie defenseman Hampus Lindholm has at times looked like a seasoned NHL veteran at the tender age of 20.
Photo: Norfolk Admirals goaltender and Anaheim Ducks prospect John Gibson was having a strong showing in the 2014 AHL playoffs before getting the call to play for the Ducks in Game 4 of their series against the Los Angeles Kings (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
The 2014 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs are in mid-swing and there have been plenty of upsets in the Eastern Conference, which saw all three regular season division champions fall in the first round. While the Western Conference might have taken the spotlight winning most of the league’s awards and honors, there are plenty of Eastern Conference players who continue to show they’re ready to take on a larger role with their respective NHL affiliates next season.