Photo: Forward Tom Wilson was one of two selections the Washington Capitals made in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The Washington Capitals had 14 drafted players appear on their NHL roster this season including eight former first round picks. They have had a knack for developing their high end prospects to be impact players on the team, but the prospect depth is not as deep as it was in previous years.
Photo: Forward Tom Wilson had a breakout year in the OHL, managing 23 goals, 35 assists, and 104 penalty minutes through 48 games. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The Washington Capitals spring top 20 has a much different look than the fall edition. Braden Holtby graduated and Filip Forsberg (NAS), Zach Hamill (BOS), and Kevin Marshall (TOR) have been traded. Riley Barber had a breakout season and debuts in the top 10, while Michael Latta, Casey Wellman, Nicolas Deschamps, and Chay Genoway all were acquired via trade. Recent free agent signing from the University of Minnesota, Nate Schmidt, joins the list and is among the Capitals top prospects.
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: Cam Atkinson is one of several Blue Jackets prospects who has seen regular time in the lineup for Columbus during the 2013 NHL season (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon SMI)
Welcome to the Hockey's Future 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.
Photo: Braden Holtby (left) and John Carlson (right) were both selected in the 2008 NHL Draft by the Washington Capitals. (Courtesy of Will Schneekloth/Icon SMI)
Any draft that produces a top line defensemen and a starting goalie with great potential should be considered a success. For the Washington Capitals, the 2008 NHL Draft produced stalwart defenseman John Carlson and platoon starter Braden Holtby.