Photo: Winger Austin Wuthrich showed a lot of grit in his freshman year with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. (Zuma Press/Icon SMI)
The top 10 collegians eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft are comprised of five forwards and five defensemen who have just completed their freshman seasons. These players represent four of the five NCAA conferences. Four of this year's top 10 players are from the CCHA, followed by three from the WCHA, two from Hockey East, and one from the ECAC.
Photo: Though he started the 2011-12 season in the AHL, two-way winger Carl Hagelin finished it in the NHL on a line with stars Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
The New York Rangers' prospects had an excellent season, as the fruits of the changes in drafting philosophy continue to bear fruit. The awards include three first round selections and two picks from the 2011 entry draft.
Photo: Defenseman Chris Wideman was one of many Senators prospects to ink an entry-level deal at the conclusion of his season. Expected to start 2012-13 in the AHL, Wideman brings a two-way puck-moving presence to the Ottawa organization. (Tim G. Zechar/Icon SMI)
As an organization, the Ottawa Senators were able to gain invaluable experience during the recent playoff season. The NHL club exceeded most predictions and made the playoffs in what was supposed to be a rebuilding season. Many observers credited a portion of their success to a core group of young players who played a major role in the Binghamton Senators championship run in the 2010-11 AHL playoffs.
Photo: New England prep school star Brian Hart excelled at both hockey and soccer for Phillips Exeter Academy (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)
Being good at one sport is difficult enough, but excelling at two sports while maintaining a solid academic record is a feat rarely achieved by younger athletes. But that is what Phillips Exeter Academy star Brian Hart accomplished during the 2011-12 school year, which has the Cumberland, Maine native looking at a very bright future.
Photo: Goaltender Jordan Binnington had a rough post-season posting an 0-2 record and a 5.00 goals against average. (CHL Images)
Plenty of St. Louis prospects made noise during their team's respective postseason runs with several bringing home league championships. Two prospects were integral to Saint John's run toward their second consecutive QMJHL Championship while a third Quebec League prospect came out on top at the Memorial Cup. The Blues were also represented on the Swedish Elite League champion Brynas team. Several other prospects ranked among their league's top scorers during the playoffs despite falling short of the championship.