Photo: Spruce Grove Saints defenseman Carson Soucy (R) is a 2013 prospect from the AJHL who is on the radar of NHL scouts (courtesy of Gord Montgomery Spruce Grove Examiner/Sun Media)
The AJHL's Spruce Grove Saints have produced a plethora of well-known NHL players. Starting with Mark Messier, who played for the team when they were known as the Mets in 1976-77, the organization has continued to develop quality players – Stu Barnes, Mike Comrie and Steven Reinprecht to name a few.
Photo: Boston Bruins prospect Matt Benning plied his trade in the AJHL last season and has now moved over to the USHL (courtesy of Dubuque Fighting Saints)
Matt Benning and Peter Quenneville have three things in common:
They are both from Alberta.
They both played in the AJHL for two years.
And they are teammates on the Dubuque Fighting Saints.
Photo: Clarkson University captain and Boston Bruins prospect Ben Sexton hopes to stay healthy for the first time during his college career (courtesy of Clarkson University Athletics)
Many players that miss an extended amount of time due to injury may lose touch with their teammates inside the locker room. It can be hard for a player to step into a leadership role when he has spent nearly as much time on the ice as he has off.
Photo: Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Mike Reilly capped off a strong 2011-12 season with an invite to USA Hockey's WJC camp (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images Sport)
As the Columbus Blue Jackets continue the process of converting the team from cellar dweller to playoff contender, one area they could definitely look to improve is their offensive attack. One Blue Jackets' prospect that could eventually aid that cause would be defenseman Mike Reilly.
Photo: Though he started the 2011-12 season in the AHL, two-way winger Carl Hagelin finished it in the NHL on a line with stars Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
The New York Rangers' prospects had an excellent season, as the fruits of the changes in drafting philosophy continue to bear fruit. The awards include three first round selections and two picks from the 2011 entry draft.