Photo: Nikita Kucherov, always a productive member of Team Russia in international competition, finally showed that scoring touch in the QMJHL after being traded to Rouyn-Noranda. (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Welcome to the final 2012-13 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various competition levels who are either exceeding expectations or falling a little behind. With many leagues around the world approaching their finals or already finished, we take a look at some of the prospects who stood out over the course of the season. While some players proved to be farther along than initially expected, there are also those prospects who did not develop as planned in 2012-13.
Photo: Defenseman Tim Erixon, shown here with the Rangers, is now among the top prospects in the Columbus Blue Jackets' system. (courtesy of Rich Kane/Icon SMI)
The Fall edition of Hockey's Future's Top 50 NHL prospect rankings has been released, but there are always talented prospects who did not make the cut. Whether through recent sub-par performances or the lack of high-end potential compared to some of their peers, these players were considered for the ranking but did not ultimately crack the Top 50.
Photo: A lethal goal scorer and elite skater, Nail Yakupov is Hockey's Future's top NHL prospect. (courtesy of Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)
In the final installment of Hockey's Future's Top 50 prospect rankings we look at the top 10 spots. Seven players from the previous ranking maintained their status with the top group, but there are several prominent new additions, most notably 2012 first overall pick Nail Yakupov (EDM).
Photo: Chris Kreider's mix of blazing speed, a formidable frame, and outstanding hockey sense rank him among the top forward prospects in the NHL. (courtesy of Will Schneekloth/Icon SMI)
Winger Chris Kreider, already coming off a NCAA National Championship with Boston College, put on a show in 18 playoff games for the New York Rangers. The lockout will keep him from making an immediate impact for the Rangers in 2012-13, but like defensemen Brendan Smith and Brandon Gormley behind him, Kreider should benefit from significant ice time in the AHL rather than the pressure of making an immediate impact in the NHL.
Photo: Emerson Etem may only be a rookie pro in 2012-13, but his elite speed and nose for the net could see him skating soon for an Anaheim team that was starved for offense last season. (courtesy of Paul Hebert/Icon SMI)
Forward prospects Emerson Etem and Charlie Coyle settle into the middle section of the ranking, but not for lack of talent. Both players lit up the CHL last season, Etem breaking the 60-goal mark for Medicine Hat in the WHL and Coyle using his size and quick hands to fit right in with the high-octane Saint John offense in the QMJHL.