Photo: Selected first overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, center Nathan MacKinnon has made a smooth transition to the NHL level. (courtesy of Karl Gehring/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Below is the 21-30 segment of the Hockey's Future NHL Team Rankings. The teams are ranked in terms of the quality of their overall prospect pool as voted on by members of the HF staff. For reference, just the top five prospects for each club are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice a year, with this ranking meant to represent the state of the prospect pools in the early stages of the 2013-14 season.
Photo: Mississauga Steelheads goaltender Spencer Martin was Colorado’s third round pick in 2013, adding to an already strong group of prospects in net for the Avalanche (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The Colorado Avalanche are off to a hot start this season and youngsters like Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, and Nathan MacKinnon are big reasons for their early success. What all three have in common is that they were able to jump immediately from the junior ranks to the NHL after being drafted.
Photo: Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk skated less than 14 minutes on opening night against Toronto, but still registered two assists in the defeat (courtesy of Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
The Fall edition of the Hockey’s Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects concludes with the top 10 prospects, led by Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk. The top spots were tightly contested with many of the prospects already having made their mark in the NHL.
Photo: Defenseman Chris Bigras made a good first impression in camp with the Avalanche before he was assigned to the Owen Sound Attack (courtesy of Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
All eyes will be on Nathan MacKinnon on October 2nd as he will make the Colorado Avalanche’s opening night roster as the third line pivot. The 18-year-old rookie has big expectations coming in as the first overall pick but is in an excellent situation to excel as he will have the opportunity to learn from some of the league’s best centermen, including rising star Matt Duchene.
Photo: First overall pick Nathan MacKinnon debuts as the Colorado Avalanche’s top prospect (courtesy of Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
First overall draft pick Nathan MacKinnon may be getting all of the attention in Denver these days but Winnipeg native Calvin Pickard is silently working hard in the background and is looked to as the future of Avalanche goaltending.