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.
Photo: Val-d’Or Foreurs goaltender and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Antoine Bibeau was dealt from the Charlottetown Islanders to the Foreurs in late December, with Bibeau assuming the starting role with his new club (courtesy of Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)
"Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years…"
Although the QMJHL is a long way from its 1990's heyday, when it regularly knocked out similar junior leagues when it came to the development of NHL goaltending prospects, the league currently boasts nine netminders who have been drafted or signed by NHL clubs. This number was bolstered by a bumper crop of five current QMJHL goalies drafted in the 2013 NHL Draft.