Photos: After putting up 120 points in his draft year, Nicolas Petan is on pace to surpass that mark in 2013-14 while averaging over two points per game for the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Welcome to the December 2013 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various levels of competition who are either exceeding expectations or are falling a little behind.
Photo: Syracuse Crunch forward and Tampa Bay lightning prospect Nikita Kucherov is currently tied for second in goals with 13 so far in the 2013-14 AHL season (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
The AHL is nearly at the quarter-pole for the 2013-14 season, with most teams approaching the 20-game mark in their season. Teams are beginning to find their strengths and weaknesses, and some players – like Tyler Toffoli – have already been called up to their NHL affiliate.
Photo: Forward Ryan Kujawinski is one of seven prospects the New Jersey Devils have who are currently playing at the CHL level. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
The New Jersey Devils have eight prospects competing at the junior level this year; three in the WHL, three in the OHL, one in the QMJHL, and one at the high school level. Some of their forwards are big, skilled scorers but have to overcome personal deficiencies. The others are more defensive oriented but have displayed surprising offensive numbers of late.
Photo: Selected first overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, center Nathan MacKinnon has made a smooth transition to the NHL level. (courtesy of Karl Gehring/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Below is the 21-30 segment of the Hockey's Future 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 for each club are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice a year, with this ranking meant to represent the state of the prospect pools in the early stages of the 2013-14 season.
Photo: Goaltender Scott Wedgewood is currently in his second full season of professional hockey. Wedgewood was selected in the third round of the 2010 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
General Manager Lou Lamoriello has done a good job of restocking the lackluster New Jersey Devils farm system over the past six years. The junior and college ranks have produced talented prospects of all skill levels that fit the Devils mold. Now their minor league affiliate is reaping the benefits of this youth movement.