Photo: Winger Valentin Zykov, the 37th overall selection in 2013, was the Kings’ top pick last summer. The Stanley Cup champs still have their 2014 first round pick, slotted at 29th overall (courtesy of Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images)
Even though the 2013-14 season that saw the Los Angeles Kings wrap up their second championship in three seasons just ended less than a few weeks ago, it is already time to think about the future.
Photo: Defenseman Nick Ebert, acquired via trade in December, led the Storm defense in scoring during the club’s OHL Championship run and trip to the Memorial Cup final (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
The Los Angeles Kings are in the midst of a deep playoff run, one that is eerily similar to their 2011-12 cup run. Outside of that though, there have been a ton of prospects competing with the Los Angeles Kings prospect tag by their name in all of the playoff competitions across the globe.
Photo: Forward Linden Vey is one of several Los Angeles Kings prospects to make his NHL debut during the 2013-14 season. Vey appeared in 18 games for the Kings. (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
Below is the 21-30 segment of the Hockey's Future 2014 Spring NHL Team Rankings. The teams are ranked in terms of the quality of their overall prospect pool as voted on by members of the HF staff. 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. For reference, each team's previous rank is listed in parenthesis.
Photo: Union College defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere raised his stock dramatically in 2013-14 with a superb regular season and dominant playoff run for the National Champions (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
Welcome to the April 2014 edition of On the Rush. With the postseason underway, this will be the final column for the 2013-14 season. As such, this edition will focus on prospects at various levels of competition who exceeded expectations or fell behind a bit over the course of the entire season.
Photo: Medvescak Zagreb forward Patrick Bjorkstrand, shown here competing for Denmark at the 2013 World Championship, could be looking to follow his brother Oliver to North America after a solid 2013-14 season in the KHL (courtesy of JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
The infamous "Russian Factor" is taking its toll on the sheer number of drafted prospects playing in Russia as nowadays, the NHL franchises are scared to draft directly from Russia, causing many top prospects to decide to cross the pond earlier and play some seasons in the Canadian major junior system in order to improve their chances of being chosen at the NHL Draft.