Photo: Finnish defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was the first of 11 players to have the Buffalo Sabres call their name at the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The 2013 NHL Draft was considered by many to be the deepest draft in the last decade, with potential franchise players not just available at the top of the order, but all the way through the first round and into the second.
Photo: Sven Baertschi, Calgary’s 13th overall pick in 2011, finished 2012-13 on a seven-game point streak, scoring three goals and six assists (courtesy of Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Calgary Flames head into the 2013 NHL Draft four years removed from the playoffs. General Manager Jay Feaster has come to terms that the team is in a “rebuilding” mode rather than a “retooling” one. Gone is former captain Jarome Iginla and assistant captain Jay Bouwmeester, and in return are two first round picks acquired via both players waiving their no-trade clauses at trade deadline. The status of goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff is in the balance and his decision could also change the dynamics of the team next year should he decide to retire. The Flames find themselves at an interesting junction with a lot of questions to be answered. The upcoming draft could be the most important one in the team’s history.
Photo: Providence College goaltender and Calgary Flames prospect Jon Gillies (R) received a good education as the backup to Team USA goaltender John Gibson (L) at the 2013 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Not many freshmen have a lot of success at the NCAA Division I college hockey level. But Providence College goalie Jon Gillies did more than just have a successful freshman season, as he was one of the best goalies in the country.
Photo: Yale winger Ken Agostino hoists the trophy after helping the Bulldogs to the first National Championship in school history (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
The Calgary Flames prospects at the NHL level were unable to gain any post-season playing experience and the Abbotsford Heat failed to qualify for the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs. At the lower levels this spring, only the CHL prospects were experiencing playoff hockey as the European and NCAA prospects had already finished up their seasons.
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.