Photo: Drafted in 2012, defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has shown a lot of promise in his two seasons with Union College. (courtesy of J. Meric/Getty Images)
The tale of the NCAA and European bases for the Philadelphia Flyers prospect pool is a particularly one-sided one. The Flyers traditionally shy away from European development, and with Paul Holmgren's yearly blitzkrieg on college free-agents, it is fairly obvious that the scouts within the organization favor the collegiate developmental path.
Photo: Cam Atkinson is one of several Blue Jackets prospects who has seen regular time in the lineup for Columbus during the 2013 NHL season (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon SMI)
Welcome to the Hockey's Future Spring NHL Team Rankings, the staff's ranking of each NHL team's system based on the strength of the entire prospect pool. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The ranking is done twice a year, with this edition being an update to the Fall ranking.
Photo: Center Scott Laughton is currently the only Philadelphia Flyers prospect to have been drafted in the first round. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
While the Philadelphia Flyers have not had the most dazzling prospect pool in recent NHL memory, they have had a steady amount of success from the top of their ranks. While consistently trading away first and second round picks does not provide the steadiest foundation from which to build an organization, the Flyers have had almost astonishing success making trades for high-end players who are just hitting their developmental stride.
Photo: Agitating forward Zac Rinaldo is the only member of Flyer's 2008 draft class to currently play on their NHL roster. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
The 2008 Draft Class for the Philadelphia Flyers is an odd look at a success that could have been. It is not as if the organization should chalk the entire year as a front office failure, but it does boast a few cautionary tales of how doing everything seemingly correctly can still bring about disastrous consequences. A team can prepare for the worst but bad luck can find anyone at any time.
Photo: Forward Tye McGinn has been one of the more pleasant surprises for the Philadelphia Flyers this season. McGinn has played in 16 NHL games with the Flyers. (courtesy of Nick Turchiaro/Icon SMI)
The Phantoms' franchise, even before it moved to Glens Falls to become the Adirondack Phantoms, has been in a state of struggle underneath a successful NHL franchise. This comes despite a large amount of success from drafted prospects. The Phantoms have not really been successful since winning the Calder Cup during the NHL lockout year of 2004-05. Two early exits from the postseason over the course of what will be seven seasons of hockey does not suggest a steady foundation of prospects on which to build an NHL franchise.