Photo: University of Minnesota defenseman and New York Rangers prospect Brady Skjei is playing for his college head coach, Don Lucia, at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
Team USA successfully began their defense of last year's gold medal at the World Junior Championship with a 5-1 win over the Czech Republic on the first day of the 2014 WJC.
Photo: Defenseman Troy Donnay is one of four prospects representing the New York Rangers in the CHL. The 19-year-old was signed to an NHL entry-level contract during the 2013 off-season. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The New York Rangers currently have only four prospects playing major junior hockey. This is the lowest number of prospects assigned to the CHL in recent memory and reflects both a switch in drafting tendencies, as well as the fact the Rangers had a combined nine draft picks in 2012 and 2013.
Photo: Hartford Wolf Pack forward and New York Rangers prospect Danny Kristo, shown here playing for the Rangers in a 2013 preseason game, has so far fit in well in his new organization after being dealt by the Montreal Canadiens to the Rangers (courtesy Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
It's been an exciting eight months for Danny Kristo. The 23-year-old winger for the Hartford Wolf Pack – the AHL affiliate of the New York Rangers – has gone from playing in the NCAA national quarter-final at the University of North Dakota to playing in the last stretch of a losing season with the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs, and now establishing himself as a star with the Wolf Pack following a July trade.
Photo: Dylan McIlrath has gradually developed into a dependable and physical defensive defenseman. The New York Rangers selected McIlrath 10th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
It seems like a distant memory now, but just six or seven years ago, the New York Rangers had few homegrown players on their NHL roster. Big name free agents were the norm for this original six team, with few of the team's prospects ever appearing in more than one or two games on Broadway.
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.