Photo: Chicoutimi Sagueneens forward and Montreal Canadiens prospect Charles Hudon was the star for Team QMJHL in the first game of the 2013 Subway Super Series (courtesy of Dave Connell/HF)
Chicoutimi Sagueneens left wing Charles Hudon doesn't have great memories of last year's World Junior Championship. Hudon injured his back in a pre-tournament contest, an injury that kept him out of the entire WJC and was a bother for most of the remainder of his 2012-13 season.
Photo: Forward Matt Puempel is playing in his first season of professional hockey. Puempel is a sniper who was selected in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
After several years of strong drafting by the Ottawa Senators, a healthy competition for a limited amount of NHL jobs has developed among their young players. A wealth of Swedish prospects, led by goalie Robin Lehner, has served Ottawa well in recent years. They also have several first round picks, including Cody Ceci and Curtis Lazar, who are on track to become impactful NHL players.
Photo: Red Wings draft pick Anthony Mantha has torn up the QMJHL and put himself in prime position for a prominent role on Team Canada at the 2014 WJC (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Welcome to the November 2013 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various competition levels who are either exceeding expectations or falling a little behind.
Photo: Brandon Pirri earned an opportunity on Chicago’s second line and has responded with three goals, one assist in his last five games (courtesy of Robin Alam/Icon SMI)
The Chicago Blackhawks’ organizational depth has begun to break through to the NHL level in 2013-14. Led by Brandon Pirri, a handful of prospects have seen playing time in Chicago so far this season, while the depth on the wing and the blue line allowed General Manager Stan Bowman to swing a trade for former-Blackhawk Kris Versteeg.
Photo: Forward Spencer Abbott has been a standout for the Toronto Marlies, the AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Abbott is in his second full season of professional hockey. (courtesy of Abelimages/Getty Images)
The Toronto Maple Leafs strong start can be attributed to the depth they have accumulated over previous seasons. Under general manager Dave Nonis, the Maple Leafs continue to foster the development of their youth in hopes they will one day become NHL players.