Photo: Selected second overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, forward Aleksander Barkov made an immediate impact for the Florida Panthers. Barkov suffered a knee injury during the 2014 Olympics and has been on injured reserve ever since. (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)
There have been several notable changes since the fall when the Florida Panthers last Top 20 list was compiled. Nick Bjugstad and Drew Shore have graduated, and Florida added high-potential center prospect Brandon Pirri at the trade deadline. Several players have begun getting extended opportunities in the NHL as the regular season winds down and the Panthers playoff hopes slip quietly to the side.
Photo: Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, the second overall pick at the 2013 NHL Draft, scored 24 points in 54 NHL games before suffering a knee injury during the 2014 Winter Olympics (courtesy of Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Spring edition of the Hockey's Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects concludes with the prospects ranked 1-10. The top prospect is Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov, who narrowly beat out Jonathan Drouin for top honors in the ranking.
Photo: Severstal Cherepovets forward and New York Rangers prospect Pavel Buchnevich was a scoring star for Russia’s bronze medal-winning squad at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Yury Kuzmin/KHL Photo Agency via Getty Images)
In spite of the bad performance at the recent Winter Olympics, Russia keeps on producing good players at a good rate, as confirmed by the recent good showing of the WJC squad.
Photo: Providence College goaltender and Calgary Flames prospect Jon Gillies has played for Team USA at the last two U20 World Junior Championships (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
This season started with 15 NHL-drafted goaltenders playing in the NCAA. Now it is down to 13. Reigning ECAC Rookie of the Year Jason Kasdorf (WPG) suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in October after playing in just two games. Sophomore Collin Olson (CAR) left Ohio State in November to play in the USHL.
Photo: Notre Dame defenseman and Chicago Blackhawks prospect Stephen Johns will cap off his college career with his most productive offensive season for the Fighting Irish (courtesy of Zumapress/Icon SMI)
This season, the NCAA features an array of outstanding NHL-drafted defensemen and many of them, particularly underclassmen, have been left off this year’s list. The ten defensemen ranked here are all having excellent seasons with their respective teams and have made tremendous strides in their development.