Photo: Forward Linden Vey is one of several Los Angeles Kings prospects to make his NHL debut during the 2013-14 season. Vey appeared in 18 games for the Kings. (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
Below is the 21-30 segment of the Hockey's Future 2014 Spring 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 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. For reference, each team's previous rank is listed in parenthesis.
Photo: Union College defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere raised his stock dramatically in 2013-14 with a superb regular season and dominant playoff run for the National Champions (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
Welcome to the April 2014 edition of On the Rush. With the postseason underway, this will be the final column for the 2013-14 season. As such, this edition will focus on prospects at various levels of competition who exceeded expectations or fell behind a bit over the course of the entire season.
Photo: Forward Jason Akeson had a breakout 2013-14 season in the AHL, posting 24 goals and 40 assists in 60 games. Akeson made his NHL playoff debut on April 17th, 2014. (courtesy of Bill Streicher/Icon SMI)
Some of the Philadelphia Flyers prospects, such as Scott Laughton and Shayne Gostisbehere, used the 2013-14 season to demonstrate continued improvement. For others, including Michael Parks and Taylor Leier, the 2013-14 season served as a breakout year. Other prospects however, like Marcel Noebels, Petr Straka, and Brandon Alderson, struggled while with the Adirondack Phantoms this season.
Photo: Union Coillege junior defenseman and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Shayne Gostisbehere ranks sixth in scoring for the Dutchmen with 31 points in 41 games (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
Junior defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has been a big reason behind the recent success of Union College. The Margate, FL native currently ranks second on the Dutchmen roster in scoring by a defenseman with 31 points (eight goals, 23 assists) in 41 games to date. Gostisbehere also is tied for second on the team with a +26 rating. He logs among the most minutes of any player on Union College’s roster and plays in all situations.
Photo: Selected 37th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, forward Valentin Zykov had a solid 2013-14 season in the QMJHL, posting 23 goals and 40 assists in 53 games. (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
As with every Top 50 ranking, difficult decisions had to be made towards the bottom section, and players were left out for a variety of reasons.