Photo: Winger Oliver Bjorkstrand led the WHL in playoff scoring with 16 goals and 17 assists through 21 games. (Courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
When the Columbus Blue Jackets took their best shot at the Pittsburgh Penguins this postseason, their roster was littered with home-grown players like Boone Jenner and Ryan Murray. While the recently graduated prospects were getting a chance to take on one of the NHL's best teams, there were a handful of players making statements in their own respective league's playoffs.
Photo: Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen leads a deep group of Buffalo Sabres prospects (courtesy of Mark Buckner/NHLI via Getty Images)
Hockey's Future presents the top group of the 2014 Spring NHL Team Rankings. The teams are ranked by the overall quality of their prospect pool as voted on by the HF staff. For reference, the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice a year, with this edition being an update to the Fall rankings. Each team's Fall ranking is listed in parenthesis next to their current ranking.
Photo: Union College defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere raised his stock dramatically in 2013-14 with a superb regular season and dominant playoff run for the National Champions (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
Welcome to the April 2014 edition of On the Rush. With the postseason underway, this will be the final column for the 2013-14 season. As such, this edition will focus on prospects at various levels of competition who exceeded expectations or fell behind a bit over the course of the entire season.
Photo: Goaltender Joonas Korpisalo bounced around Europe for much of the 2013-14 season before finally settling down with Ilves. Korpisalo was selected 62nd overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
After selecting eight players in the 2013 NHL Draft, it was exciting as ever to watch some of the Columbus Blue Jackets prospects bloom. Kerby Rychel and Oliver Bjorkstrand put together tremendous years at the Canadian major junior level, while Alexander Wennberg and Marko Dano got their skates under them in Europe.
Photo: Frolunda Indians forward and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Alexander Wennberg saw his first extended action in Sweden’s top league during the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
For the better part of the last 25 years, Sweden has continued to provide the world with some of the best and most exciting forward talent anywhere. That trend has continued in recent years and is testified to in the fact that no European nation has seen as many players drafted in recent years than has Sweden.