Photo: Forward Victor Rask is now in his first full season of professional hockey. Rask spent the majority of the past two seasons playing for the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL. (courtesy of Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images)
With a top-six group that appears set for the foreseeable future, the Carolina Hurricanes are desperate for scoring help from their bottom-six. The organization is also looking for one of their numerous defensive prospects to become an everyday defenseman in the NHL.
Photo: Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele begins his first full professional season in the NHL in 2013-14. Scheifele was the seventh overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft and the first made by the new Jets organization. (courtesy of Marianne Helm/Getty Images)
The Fall 2013 edition of the Hockey's Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects has been released, but there are many very talented players who did not make the cut. Ranking the prospects was especially difficult given the sheer volume of quality players who did not graduate because of the truncated 2012-13 NHL season.
Photo: Mikhail Grigorenko, Buffalo’s 12th overall pick in 2012, will look to bounce back in 2013-14 from an up-and-down rookie season split between the Sabres and the Quebec Remparts (courtesy of Jeremy McKnight/Icon SMI)
The Fall edition of the Hockey's Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects continues with the prospects ranked 21-30.
New additions from the 2013 NHL Draft augment the depth of skilled forwards in the middle group of the ranking. Elias Lindholm, drafted fifth by Carolina, and Sean Monahan, sixth by Calgary, debut on the list next to prospects who lost some luster after a rocky 2012-13 season in Mikhail Grigorenko and Mikael Granlund.
Photo: Selected fifth overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, center Elias Lindholm (right) brings tremendous playmaking ability to the Carolina Hurricanes lineup. (courtesy of JUSSI NUKARI/AFP/Getty Images)
An injury riddled 2012-13 season saw the Carolina Hurricanes miss the playoffs for a fourth straight year. The organization finished tied for the fifth worst record in the NHL and struggled mightily to keep the puck out of their own net. Despite their struggles last season, the Hurricanes head into the 2013-14 season with a ‘win now’ mentality.
Photo: The Carolina Hurricanes selected forward Elias Lindholm fifth overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)
The Carolina Hurricanes made two early surprising moves that solidified their status as legitimate contenders. Holding the fifth overall pick in the 2013 Draft, the Hurricanes knew that one way or another they were going to be able to pick up a player who could develop into a star franchise player.