Photo: Defenseman Joe Morrow is one of eight Penguins prospects playing in their first year of professional hockey. Morrow was selected 23rd overall by the Penguins in the 2011 NHL Draft. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Like many teams in the AHL, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are beneficiaries of the ongoing NHL lockout, with several players who would normally be competing for a job in the NHL instead playing in the minors. Despite this flux of NHL caliber talent, the team has struggled all season, particularly on offense, where they rank among the bottom in the league.
Photo: University of North Dakota forward and Florida Panthers prospect Corban Knight had the hot scoring hand in the NCAA during the month of December (courtesy of Brace Hemmelgarn/Icon SMI)
With the first half of the 2012-13 season drawing to a close and the second half getting underway, there were plenty of prospect stories making the rounds in college hockey in December. Hockey’s Future takes a look back at the final month of the 2012 calendar year. Unless otherwise noted, all stats are current as of Dec. 31.
Photo: UMass Lowell forward and Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Scott Wilson started slowly in 2012-13 but has been producing for the River Hawks in more recent games (courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics)
After taking home the Hockey East Rookie of the Year award last season, Scott Wilson is looking to take his game to the next level for UMass Lowell in the second half of the collegiate schedule.
Photo: Goaltender Matt Murray is in his first year as the uncontested starter for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Through 27 starts Murray has a 14-12-1 record. (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The Pittsburgh Penguins have eight prospects playing at the Canadian Major Junior level, seven of whom were acquired in the 2012 off-season through the draft or trade. The Penguins, as is the case organization wide, are particularly heavy on defense at the junior level, with five defensive prospects led by 2012 first round picks Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta.
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.