Photo: Detroit’s signing of Western Michigan defenseman Dan DeKeyser has improved the team’s breakout and transition game (courtesy of Steven King/Icon SMI)
Below is the middle section of 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: Mikkel Boedker, the Coyotes' eighth overall pick in 2008, currently leads the team with 18 points through 26 games so far this season (courtesy of Chris Pondy/Icon SMI)
For the third consecutive year, the Phoenix Coyotes drafted in the top 10 picks in 2008. The Coyotes now have two players from the 2008 draft who are making the most of their opportunities in the NHL, while a couple more are finding their way at the AHL level.
Photo: Brendan Shinnimin (left) and Jordan Szwarz are two of the young forwards that have chipped in at both ends of the rink for the Portland Pirates in 2012-13. (courtesy Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
The Portland Pirates are having a successful season, thanks in large part to the influx of young talent. The Phoenix Coyotes’ AHL affiliate features eight rookies, including a few first round picks. Many of the Coyotes prospects that are playing professional hockey play the same style as many of the players on the parent club: a speedy, gritty, two-way game.
Photo: Sarnia Sting defenseman and Phoenix Coyotes prospect Connor Murphy has been a solid defensive presence for Team USA at the 2013 WJC (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
After dropping a couple of tight, low-scoring encounters to rivals Russia and Canada, Team USA appears to have gotten their offense in gear the past couple of games. The USA has scored 16 times in those two games, against Slovakia and the Czech Republic, while giving up just three goals.
Photo: After playing the past three seasons in Finland, defenseman Sami Vatanen made his way to North America and currently plays for the AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks. (Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Below is the middle section Hockey’s Future’s NHL Team Rankings. The teams are ranked in terms of the quality of their overall prospect pool as voted on by the staff of Hockey's Future. For reference, just 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 the second scheduled to be published in the Spring.