Photo: First-year pro Erik Haula, who has four points in five AHL games this season, represents the depth of talent that the Wild have at the pro level (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon SMI)
The Minnesota Wild has taken an aggressive approach in free agency and trade at the NHL level, adding a franchise defenseman in Ryan Suter, and bolstering its forward corps with legitimate NHL stars in Zach Parise and Jason Pominville and a solid defensive presence in Matt Cooke. The confidence to make these moves was in part due to a group of prospects who seemed ready to come in and provide support during their cheaper entry-level contract years.
Photo: Valeri Nichushkin, Dallas’ 10th overall selection in 2013, is one of seven top-10 picks to break camp with their NHL team in 2013-14 (courtesy of Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The Fall edition of the Hockey's Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects continues with the prospects ranked 11-20. NHL success is at a premium as we break into the top 20 with a group made up mostly of players primed for an NHL breakout.
Photo: Mikhail Grigorenko, Buffalo’s 12th overall pick in 2012, will look to bounce back in 2013-14 from an up-and-down rookie season split between the Sabres and the Quebec Remparts (courtesy of Jeremy McKnight/Icon SMI)
The Fall edition of the Hockey's Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects continues with the prospects ranked 21-30.
New additions from the 2013 NHL Draft augment the depth of skilled forwards in the middle group of the ranking. Elias Lindholm, drafted fifth by Carolina, and Sean Monahan, sixth by Calgary, debut on the list next to prospects who lost some luster after a rocky 2012-13 season in Mikhail Grigorenko and Mikael Granlund.
Photo: Defenseman Matt Dumba, who is poised to crack Minnesota’s opening night roster, leads the players ranked 41-50 in HF’s Top 50 prospects ranking (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon SMI)
The Fall edition of the Hockey's Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects begins with the prospects ranked 41-50. The lockout-shortened 2012-13 season left a talented pool of eligible prospects, evident already in the bottom group of players.
Photo: The Wild have many top prospects competing for roster spots in the NHL this season, even 19-year-old defenseman Matt Dumba is still in the mix (courtesy of Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Over the last few draft classes, Chuck Fletcher and company have shown Wild fans evidence of a new developmental approach. With a good cluster of young guys already in place, there has been a shift toward drafting players who will take an extra year or two to arrive as viable prospects.