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: Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon led all NHL rookies in scoring during the 2013-14 regular season, and even led all NHL scorers during the 2014 NHL playoffs until the Avalanche were eliminated in the first round (courtesy of Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon had a huge second half of the season to pull away from the field in the Calder Trophy race. His performance in the 2014 NHL playoffs was simply the cherry on top of a great rookie season.
Photo: Prior to joining the Chicago Blackhawks at the tail end of the 2013-14 regular season, Teuvo Teravainen was a standout in Finland’s Liiga, where he managed 44 points in 49 games. Teravainen was also a key part of Finland’s gold medal team at the 2014 World Junior Championship. (courtesy of Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
The hockey world saw many fantastic individual performances over the course of the 2013-14 season. Few, however, rivaled the performance of forward Teuvo Teräväinen (CHI), who is the Hockey's Future 2014 Prospect of the Year.
Photo: Victoria Royals defenseman and Calgary Flames prospect Keegan Kanzig is getting his first taste of the pro game after joining the Abbotsford Heat for the AHL playoffs (courtesy of Ben Nelms/Getty Images)
At first glance, one might assume that a player who checks in at 6’6” has got to be the tallest player on his team in a league full of teenagers. In fact, at that height, the player is probably always the tallest player in the room, at a restaurant or in a gym.
Photo: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly holds up the card showing the Florida Panthers as the winner of the 2014 NHL Draft Lottery (courtesy of Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
Maybe second is the new first, at least when it comes to the NHL Draft Lottery, the latest of which took place on Tuesday evening. In the prior two lotteries, the 29th-ranked club ended up with the first selection, and that trend held in the 2014 edition as this season's 29th club, the Florida Panthers, ended up walking away with the first selection overall in the 2014 NHL Draft.