Photo: Rookie goaltender John Gibson assumed the starting role in Norfolk with Anaheim relying heavily on Frederik Andersen at the NHL level (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
In what could be regarded as a development year with all the incoming young players, the Norfolk Admirals are off to a respectable 20-13-1-5 start. Norfolk stood to lose quite a few valuable players to the Anaheim Ducks this season, and with players like Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen, Emerson Etem, Frederik Andersen, and Patrick Maroon all spending considerable time in the NHL in 2013-14 that fear became a reality.
Photo: University of Wisconsin forward and Anaheim Ducks prospect Nic Kerdiles has been generating offense wherever he plays, whether it is for Wisconsin or for Team USA at the 2014 WJC (courtesy of Dan Sanger/Icon SMI)
The final month of 2013 marked the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half of the 2013-14 NCAA hockey season. Hockey’s Future takes a look back at the many notable performances by NHL prospects around college hockey during the month of December. Unless otherwise noted, all stats are current as of January 5th, 2014.
Photo: QMJHL forward Anthony Mantha took his game to the international stage in December, where he managed 10 points in four preliminary round games at the 2014 World Junior Championships. Mantha was selected 20th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
Forward Anthony Mantha (DET) is the Hockey's Future Prospect of the Month for December. An offensively prolific player since the start of the 2013-14 season, Mantha took his game to another level in December, with 14 points in five QMJHL games and 10 points through the preliminary round of the 2014 World Junior Championship.
Photo: Quebec Remparts forward and Anaheim Ducks prospect Nick Sorensen is one of 11 returning players from Sweden’s 2013 World Junior roster taking part in this year’s event (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Injuries the past couple of seasons have limited Sweden forward Nick Sorensen's time on the ice. But, the Anaheim Ducks prospect has managed to stay healthy this season, and is taking part in his second consecutive U20 World Junior Championship.
Photo: The WHL’s leading scorer amongst defensemen, Shea Theodore has nine assists in his first three games in the month of December (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
The Anaheim Ducks' prospect pool only contains three prospects currently plying their trade at the Canadian Hockey League level, two in the WHL and one in the QMJHL. Their current lack of depth is due in part to large number of prospects moving up to the professional level in 2013-14, and is not an indicator of a weak prospect pool.