Photo: Swedish defenseman and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Tom Nilsson has previously competed internationally for his country, but this is his first time playing at the U-20 WJC (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
For Sweden's Filip Forsberg, the 2013 World Junior Championship provides a chance to cement the idea that Sweden has arrived as a hockey power at the junior level. Forsberg was a part of his country's gold medal squad at the 2012 World Juniors, with his performance at that tournament no doubt helping to solidify his stock for the 2012 NHL Draft.
Photo: Stanislav Galiev is one of several skilled wingers the Washington Capitals have drafted over the past few years. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The Washington Capitals have done of lot of building from within over the last few years. As a result, the prospect depth has taken quite a hit. However, there was a bit of a rebuild after the 2012 NHL entry draft. While the Capitals organization has plenty of depth, the number of high end prospects is limited and many other prospects are long-term projects.
Photo: After playing the past three seasons in Finland, defenseman Sami Vatanen made his way to North America and currently plays for the AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks. (Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Below is the middle section Hockey’s Future’s NHL Team Rankings. The teams are ranked in terms of the quality of their overall prospect pool as voted on by the staff of Hockey's Future. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice a year, with the second scheduled to be published in the Spring.
Photo: Chandler Stephenson is one of several Washington Capitals prospects who are poised for a breakout season in 2012-13. (Zuma Press/Icon SMI)
As the 2012-13 season gets under way, the Washington Capitals have many prospects hoping to take their game to the next level. With the exception of Braden Holtby and Dmitri Orlov, most young players with the Capitals have not been affected by the NHL lockout. The Capitals system has a few blue chip prospects mixed in with a larger group of lower end prospects, who have opportunities to step up and prove themselves as true NHL prospects. Players like Connor Carrick, Garrett Mitchell, and Caleb Herbert are not as well known as players like Holtby, Yevgeni Kuznetsov, and Filip Forsberg, but all are worth keeping an eye on this season.
Photo: The Washington Capitals organization is hoping goaltender Braden Holtby will be able to replicate his strong 2012 playoff performance over the span of an entire regular season. (Will Schneekloth/Icon SMI)
The Washington Capitals used the 2012 NHL draft as an opportunity to restock their prospect pool by adding 10 new players. Among the new additions are a mix of players who should have an impact in the next couple years, along with some longer term projects.