Photo: Rookie pro Erik Haula turned an injury call-up into more than half a season in St. Paul with the Wild (courtesy of Bob Frid/Icon SMI)
By way of reintroducing the good people of Des Moines to professional hockey, the Wild fell well short of making a splash this season. In the NHL, a playoff berth and first-round series win over Central Division winner Colorado are real accomplishments, but there were moments of intense growing pains.
Photo: Winnipeg Jets prospect Nic Petan (#19) and Nashville Predators prospect Brendan Leipsic (#28) of the Portland Winterhawks have much to smile about as they will be competing in their fourth straight WHL Championship series (courtesy of Ben Nelms/Getty Images)
The defensemen, goaltenders and wingers have all been covered, so it is time to take a look at the top centers prospects that competed in the WHL during the 2013-14 season.
Photo: Miami University forward and Washington Capitals prospect Riley Barber was among the top wingers playing in the NCAA during the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
The NCAA featured a number of excellent wingers this season that were key cogs for their respective teams. Hockey’s Future takes a closer look at the top 10 NCAA wingers that are currently property of an NHL team. Unless otherwise noted, all stats are current as of April 3rd.
Photo: Nikita Kucherov has parlayed a hot start in the AHL with Syracuse into a full-time gig with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2013-14 (courtesy of Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon SMI)
The Spring edition of the Hockey's Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects continues with the prospects ranked 21-30. This particular section of the rankings is led by dynamic young forward Nikita Kucherov, who is one of several promising young forwards playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Photo: Boston College freshman Adam Gilmour has managed to stand out despite a limited fourth-line role, scoring 19 points through 37 games in 2013-14 (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
In today's salary-cap league, NHL teams need to pursue every available avenue to procure and retain good hockey players at reasonable cost. After going out and acquiring Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Jason Pominville and Dany Heatley, the Wild has had to bank on some of the longer-shots in its prospect group developing into dependable NHL players who can fill out a top-heavy roster cheaply and effectively.