Photo: Forward Rocco Grimaldi is amidst his rookie season of professional hockey. Grimaldi was a second round pick from the 2011 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)
The Florida Panthers organization looks much different now than it did even two years ago. General Manager Dale Tallon’s rebuilding of the prospect system and the relative patience that his staff has shown in allowing those prospects to mature has started to bear fruit. Several players have moved through the pipeline to become NHL regulars or AHL players on the verge of graduating to the big leagues.
Photo: Buffalo Sabres defensive prospect Rasmus Ristolainen is one of a handful of good prospects at that position. Ristolainen is a part of the prospect group ranked first in HF’s team rankings (courtesy of Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
Hockey’s Future presents the top group of the 2014-15 Fall 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 ranking is done twice a year, in the Fall and Spring. Each team’s rank from the previous rankings is listed in parentheses.
Photo: New Jersey Devils rookie defenseman Damon Severson stepped right into the NHL after starring for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets the past four seasons (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The emergence of New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson as an offensive presence after making the jump directly from junior hockey to the NHL has been a bit of a surprise. Tanner Pearson was expected to make an impact for the Los Angeles Kings after seeing regular ice time during the Stanley Cup playoffs, but few expected the eye-popping offensive numbers he has put up so far. Read more»
Photo: Florida Panthers rookie defenseman Aaron Ekblad has posted one goal and two assists in nine games to start the 2014-15 season (courtesy of Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
Nine games into his NHL career, Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad has netted his first NHL goal, and it was an important one, to boot, as the goal stood as the game-winner in the Panthers’ 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Read more»
Photo: Texas Stars forward and Dallas Stars prospect Radek Faksa completed his OHL career in 2013-14, in time to join Texas in their run to the 2014 Calder Cup championship (courtesy of John Rivera/Icon Sportswire)
Changes in the AHL‘s West Division this season include the removal of the Abbotsford Heat, who relocated to Adirondack, and the addition of the Iowa Wild. The division is still full of highly touted prospects, and of course, the defending Calder Cup champion Texas Stars. Read more»