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.
Photo: Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon is the top NHL rookie in most offensive categories and has totaled 62 points in 79 games (courtesy of Dustin Bradford/Icon SMI)
The Calder Trophy race heads down the stretch and, while Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat led all rookie scorers in the month of March, Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon has tightened his hold on the lead in the Hockey's Future monthly poll.
Photo: Selected 37th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, forward Valentin Zykov had a solid 2013-14 season in the QMJHL, posting 23 goals and 40 assists in 53 games. (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
As with every Top 50 ranking, difficult decisions had to be made towards the bottom section, and players were left out for a variety of reasons.
Photo: Minnesota defenseman Ben Marshall was part of a deep and talented blue line corps for the Gophers in 2013-14. Minnesota will kick off their NCAA tournament against Robert Morris on Saturday (courtesy of Brad Rempel/Icon SMI)
It may seem like the Detroit Red Wings have an unlimited stockpile of prospects with the way they have been calling up NHL-ready players as injury replacements, but the one area of their pool of prospects that is the thinnest is those playing in Europe or the NCAA.
Photo: Erie Otters forward and Washington Capitals prospect Andre Burakovsky has had a smooth transition to the North American game, notching 87 points in 57 games in 2013-14 (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The top 10 NHL-drafted wingers currently playing in the OHL aren’t overly large (a couple of notable exceptions, of course), but this year’s crop represents a collection of players who generally are solid defensively (or at least have shown that capability when they put their minds to it), and have the hands to chip in once in a while.