Photo: Vladimir Tarasenko maintains his place atop the St. Louis Blues prospect pool heading into the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
The St. Louis Blues have had continuous success in the NHL Draft. Finding franchise cornerstones like Alex Pietrangelo, Jake Allen, Jaden Schwartz, and Vladimir Tarasenko has been huge for a team that usually finds itself drafting outside the top-10 picks.
Photo: The Blues made only four selections in the 2013 draft, the first of which was defenseman Tommy Vannelli midway throught he second round (courtesy of Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
The St. Louis Blues had only four draft picks in 2013, and were unable to select a player until the 47th overall pick. The Blues already boast high-end skill at the forward positions and tried to improve their defensive prospects in this year's draft.
Photo: Jaden Schwartz, selected 14th overall in 2010, skated in 45 regular season and six playoff games for the St. Louis Blues in 2012-13 (courtesy of Keith Gillett/Icon SMI)
Prior to the trade deadline, the St. Louis Blues tried to acquire enough talent to make a push for the Stanley Cup. While the additions of Jay Bouwmeester and Jordan Leopold helped solidify the depth and experience of their blue line, they were unsuccessful in making a run for a championship and lost both young talent and draft picks in the process. In the Bouwmeester deal, the Blues gave up Mark Cundari, Reto Berra, and a conditional first round draft pick, which would be exercised if the Blues made the playoffs. The Blues did make the playoffs and were forced to give up their 2013 first round draft pick to the Calgary Flames.
Photo: Forward Yevgeni Kuznetsov is widely considered to be the top young hockey player not playing in North America. Kuznetsov is currently playing for Traktor Chelyabinsk of the KHL. (courtesy of Yury Kuzmin/KHL Photo Agency via Getty Images)
With every regular season in hockey finished, it is once again time to select the Hockey's Future Prospect of the Year. Though there were many fantastic performances outside of the NHL, none were quite as good as Yevgeni Kuznetsov (WAS), who this season further cemented himself as the best hockey player not currently in North America.
Photo: Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau finished the 2012-13 season tied for the lead among NHL rookies with 31 points (courtesy of Rich Kane/Icon SMI)
Hockey's Future presents the top grouping of the 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.