Photo: Portland Winterhawks forward and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand was one of just three WHL players to hit the 50-goal mark in the 2013-14 regular season (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
In the 2013-14 season regular season, the WHL featured a talented variety of wingers that are currently NHL prospects. The focus of this article is on the those WHL wingers that are currently property of a National Hockey League team, six of whom have signed NHL contracts. Our ranking consists of seven Canadians and three imports. Seven toiled in the WHL’s Western Conference, and our ranking contains a couple sets of teammates.
Photo: Portland Pirates forward and Phoenix Coyotes prospect Tobias Rieder is tied for third in rookie goal-scoring with 23 so far in the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
It is getting down to the last dozen or so games in the 2013-14 season and still many things are left undecided in the AHL's Eastern Conference, with at least 10 teams still vying for a chance at the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Photo: Rookie defenseman Ryan Murray had settled in nicely as a top-four defenseman for the Columbus Blue Jackets before suffering a knee injury on March 3rd, 2014. (courtesy of Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Columbus Blue Jackets' Top 20 has not changed all too much this season. Although a handful of prospects are already regulars on the Blue Jackets' roster, with Boone Jenner and Ryan Murray leading the bunch, many are still several years away from making an NHL contribution.
Photo: Providence College goaltender and Calgary Flames prospect Jon Gillies has played for Team USA at the last two U20 World Junior Championships (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
This season started with 15 NHL-drafted goaltenders playing in the NCAA. Now it is down to 13. Reigning ECAC Rookie of the Year Jason Kasdorf (WPG) suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in October after playing in just two games. Sophomore Collin Olson (CAR) left Ohio State in November to play in the USHL.
Photo: HPK Hameenlinna goaltender and Nashville Predators prospect Juuse Saros turned in a stellar performance at the 2014 World Junior Championship, helping to lead Finland to their first gold medal at the U20 WJC since 1998 (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
No country has had as much success developing goaltenders in recent years as Finland.
But with 14 Finland-trained goalies playing in North America and another nine playing in Europe in either the KHL or in Sweden's SHL, the number of drafted prospects playing in Finland's Liiga has dwindled to just five.