Photo: Cornell University forward Brian Ferlin turned in a solid freshman season despite missing time due to injuries (courtesy of Rich Barnes/Icon SMI)
It wasn't too long ago that Boston Bruins prospect and Cornell University player Brian Ferlin had doubts about his future in the game of hockey, but after making the roster of the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League (USHL) he had a chance to grow.
Photo: The Ducks added more hometown flavor to their team with the selection of forward Nicolas Kerdiles from the USNTDP program (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)
While the Anaheim Ducks scoured Sweden to draft Hampus Lindholm, they only needed to meander fifteen minutes down I-5 to discover second-rounder and Irvine product Nicolas Kerdiles.
Photo: The Winnipeg Jets added some physicality to their future defensive corps with the selection of Jacob Trouba (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)
The U.S. NTDP program has been prolific in recent years in terms of producing high-end NHL Draft prospects, and the 2012 NHL Draft is no exception. Three players from this program were chosen in the draft's first round, with Winnipeg Jets selection Jacob Trouba being the highest at ninth overall.
Photo: 2012 NHL Draft prospect Zach Stepan, cousin of the the New York Rangers Derek Stepan, will attempt to carve out his own path to the NHL (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)
Being a draft prospect with some NHL bloodlines is certainly not a losing proposition, but it can sometimes be a burden that buries the prospect under the weight of inevitable comparisons.
Photo: Goaltender Jordan Binnington had a rough post-season posting an 0-2 record and a 5.00 goals against average. (CHL Images)
Plenty of St. Louis prospects made noise during their team's respective postseason runs with several bringing home league championships. Two prospects were integral to Saint John's run toward their second consecutive QMJHL Championship while a third Quebec League prospect came out on top at the Memorial Cup. The Blues were also represented on the Swedish Elite League champion Brynas team. Several other prospects ranked among their league's top scorers during the playoffs despite falling short of the championship.