Photo: Though the Columbus Blue Jackets added several important prospects this past off-season, none were more prominent than defenseman Ryan Murray, who was selected second overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. (Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Below is the bottom third of the NHL Team Rankings in terms of prospects as voted on by Hockey's Future staff. To determine the ranking, each team's entire prospect pool was taken into consideration. For reference, just 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 the second scheduled to be published in the Spring.
Photo: After spending most of his 2011-12 season with the Flames, center Roman Horak has opened his 2012-13 season with a goal-per-game pace for Abbotsford in the AHL. (courtesy of Bob Frid/Icon SMI)
After years of poor draft selections, trading away draft picks to try to win now, and bad development of their prospects, the Calgary Flames have slowly improved their organizational depth and talent pool over the last few years. The Flames still have a lot of work to do in order for their farm system to be where a smaller market team, in today's NHL cap world, needs to be for success as a franchise.
Photo: Calgary Flames prospect Bill Arnold has played an important role in the success Boston College has experienced the past couple of seasons (courtesy of Michael Tureski/Icon SMI)
Bill Arnold is off to a hot start for Boston College as he continues to develop into one of the most dominant two-way forwards in college hockey.
Photo: Laurent Brossoit, vying for a chance to represent Canada at this winter's World Junior Championships, will look to duplicate his success from the Oil Kings' WHL title run last season. (courtesy of Terry Wilson / CHL Images)
The Calgary Flames
have improved their organization’s long term depth and talent pool during the off-season through the draft and some free agent signings at the AHL
level. The team has four prospects starting their professional careers in Abbotsford for the 2012-13 season. The Heat will be a good mix of young and veteran talent and a team with a lot of players trying to make their mark while hoping to return to the AHL playoffs again this season.
Photo: T.J. Brodie turned in a strong debut with the Calgary Flames in 2011-12, but the lockout will keep the offensively-minded blueliner in the AHL for the 2012-13 season. (courtesy of Bob Frid/Icon SMI)
The Calgary Flames prospect pool appears to be on the upswing. A blue-chip prospect on the verge of NHL stardom like Sven Baertschi will do that for an organization, of course, but there are also a handful of prospects who earned NHL experience during the club's 2011-12 campaign. The organization boasts several high-upside prospects developing at lower levels of play as well, giving the Flames as strong a pipeline as they have had in recent years.