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: Toronto Marlies forward and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Josh leivo has been productive so far in the 2014 AHL playoffs, notching six points in five games for the Marlies (courtesy of Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
The Western Conference ran away with most of the AHL team and player honors for the 2013-14 season, with the explosive offense from the Texas Stars overshadowing the league’s annual awards. The defending champion Grand Rapids Griffins also took home some hardware, but can the West keep the most important award – the Calder Cup trophy – in the conference?
Photo: Andreas Athanasiou led the Barrie Colts in goals (49) and points (95) during his fourth season of junior hockey in the OHL (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The Detroit Red Wings have already graduated their first true wave of prospects in a number of years to the NHL, and there is a second wave that may be following quickly at their heels.
Photo: Prior to joining the Chicago Blackhawks at the tail end of the 2013-14 regular season, Teuvo Teravainen was a standout in Finland’s Liiga, where he managed 44 points in 49 games. Teravainen was also a key part of Finland’s gold medal team at the 2014 World Junior Championship. (courtesy of Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
The hockey world saw many fantastic individual performances over the course of the 2013-14 season. Few, however, rivaled the performance of forward Teuvo Teräväinen (CHI), who is the Hockey's Future 2014 Prospect of the Year.
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.