Photo: Forward Brian Gibbons was one of several Penguins prospects to see a substantial amount of NHL time due to injuries. Gibbons finished the 2013-14 season with five goals and 12 assists through 41 NHL games. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
The 2013-14 season was a good one for many Pittsburgh Penguins prospects. Over 500 man games lost to injury at the NHL level paved the way for several players, such as Brian Gibbons, Jayson Megna, and Brian Dumoulin, to make their NHL debuts. Several other prospects, like Josh Archibald, Tristan Jarry, and Matt Murray had breakout seasons and elevated their status within the organization.
Photo: Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon is the top NHL rookie in most offensive categories and has totaled 62 points in 79 games (courtesy of Dustin Bradford/Icon SMI)
The Calder Trophy race heads down the stretch and, while Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat led all rookie scorers in the month of March, Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon has tightened his hold on the lead in the Hockey's Future monthly poll.
Photo: Miami University forward and Washington Capitals prospect Riley Barber was among the top wingers playing in the NCAA during the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
The NCAA featured a number of excellent wingers this season that were key cogs for their respective teams. Hockey’s Future takes a closer look at the top 10 NCAA wingers that are currently property of an NHL team. Unless otherwise noted, all stats are current as of April 3rd.
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.
Photo: Forward Bryan Rust is having a strong senior year with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Through 39 games, Rust has 16 goals, 15 assists, and a plus-12 rating. (courtesy of Michael Tureski/Icon SMI)
It is not as if they try to hide it. The Pittsburgh Penguins like to select college prospects in the NHL Draft, especially in the middle and later rounds. The organization has deep ties to USA Hockey and the NCAA and believes the college hockey developmental route offers several unique advantages.