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.
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.
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.
It's been a long time since a team in Toronto has played meaningful hockey in the Spring months. The Toronto Marlies have changed those fortunes this season with a strong year that has translated into a lengthy post-season run that has seen the club play in the Calder Cup finals. Led by a handful of solid prospects, the Toronto Maple Leafs hope the recent post-season run by the Marlies will translate into more NHL ready players as soon as next season.