Photo: Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau finished the 2012-13 season tied for the lead among NHL rookies with 31 points (courtesy of Rich Kane/Icon SMI)
Hockey's Future presents the top grouping of the Spring NHL Team Rankings, the staff's ranking of each NHL team's system based on the strength of the entire prospect pool. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The ranking is done twice a year, with this edition being an update to the Fall ranking.
Photo: A high scoring forward in the QMJHL, Logan Shaw is expected to develop into complementary forward at the professional level. Shaw managed 68 points in 67 games with the Quebec Remparts this season. (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
The 2012-13 season marked a pivotal point for numerous prospects in the Florida Panthers system. Seven different players (Jonathan Huberdeau, Drew Shore, Alex Petrovic, Quinton Howden, Nick Bjugstad, Michael Caruso, and Eric Selleck) made their NHL debuts this year. Others, including 2012 first-round pick Mike Matheson, launched their collegiate or professional careers. The players below have all gained recognition for their play, but given the breadth of talent in the system, each of these awards could have been handed out to several different players.
Photo: Plymouth Whalers forward and Florida Panthers prospect Vince Trocheck, shown here playing for the Saginaw Spirit, is looking to secure his second title in 2012-13 after winning gold with the USA at the 2013 U20 WJC (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The Plymouth Whalers are looking to storm the castle and prevent a second-consecutive OHL coronation of the London Knights — and they’ll be relying on their own scoring king to lead the charge.
Photo: Forward Yaroslav Kosov is one of four prospects the Florida Panthers have who are currently playing in Europe. (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Although a couple of the Florida Panthers prospects have moved on from the collegiate ranks and begun their professional careers, the organization still has several valuable players in the NCAA and in Europe, including a Hobey Baker finalist. At least two and perhaps as many as four or more players may have already played their final seasons in college. The prospects currently playing in Europe may be a thinner crop, but there are a couple of them who look ready to move to North America.
Photo: Forward Nick Bjugstad's decision to return to Minnesota for another season has paid off, as the Golden Gophers have been among the top teams in the nation. (courtesy of Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Since the beginning of the truncated NHL season in January, several of the Florida Panthers prospects have had a chance to play in the NHL, and their experiences with the big club have helped to shuffle the order of the organization's top 20 prospects.