Photo: The Buffalo Sabres added to their already deep draft pool with nine selections at the 2014 NHL Draft, including first round pick Sam Reinhart (L) and second round selection Brandon Lemieux (R) (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The NHL's Western Conference currently has the bragging rights to league supremacy as a a result of the Los Angeles Kings five-game Stanley Cup final win over the New York Rangers. While the results from the 2014 NHL Draft may not alter the current lock the West has on the NHL's most prized trophy, at least one team in the Eastern Conference might be offering a ray of hope for the future.
Photo: The New York Islanders selected defenseman Ryan Pulock 15th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
It has already been a busy offseason for New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow. Slotted with fifth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, Snow was faced with the tough decision of whether to give the Buffalo Sabres their 2014 first round pick or their 2015 first round pick as a result of the Thomas Vanek trade.
Photo: Defenseman Aaron Ekblad (left) and forwards Sam Reinhart (center) and Sam Bennett (right) will learn where they begin their professional careers at the 2014 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images and Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Now that the Los Angeles Kings have hoisted their second Stanley Cup in three years, the hockey world can now focus on the 2014 NHL Draft that will take place on June 27th and 28th at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Photo: Defenseman Griffin Reinhart had a strong playoff run with the Edmonton Oil Kings, helping them to a WHL championship, as well as a 2014 Memorial Cup victory. (courtesy of CHL Images)
The New York Islanders, as an organization, took a step back in 2013-14 after making the playoffs last year. Although none of the Islanders professional prospects got to play in any playoff games, many of the organization's junior and European prospects gained valuable experience playing in the postseason this year.
Photo: Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen leads a deep group of Buffalo Sabres prospects (courtesy of Mark Buckner/NHLI via Getty Images)
Hockey's Future presents the top group of the 2014 Spring NHL Team Rankings. The teams are ranked by the overall quality of their prospect pool as voted on by the HF staff. For reference, the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice a year, with this edition being an update to the Fall rankings. Each team's Fall ranking is listed in parenthesis next to their current ranking.