Photo: Finnish defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was the first of 11 players to have the Buffalo Sabres call their name at the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The 2013 NHL Draft was considered by many to be the deepest draft in the last decade, with potential franchise players not just available at the top of the order, but all the way through the first round and into the second.
Photo: Selected 8th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft, forward Alex Burmistrov was the final first-round pick the Atlanta Thrashers organization would ever make. The Thrashers moved to Winnipeg in 2011 and became the Jets. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
The Winnipeg Jets finished the season ninth overall in the Eastern Conference, just four points out of the playoffs. On the whole however, it was a disappointing season for the organization. Although they showed fight down to the final week of the shortened season, several flaws in the team makeup became evident as the season wore on, and there are areas of concern that must be addressed in the upcoming draft.
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: Forward Jordan Samuels-Thomas played two seasons at Bowling Green before transferring to Quinnipiac, which will match up against St. Cloud State in the second semi-final game at the Frozen Four (courtesy of Rick Osentoski/Icon SMI)
For Quinnipiac forward Jordan Samuels-Thomas (WPG), two years can make a world of difference.
"I remember this time two years ago sitting in my dorm room at [Bowling Green]," said Samuels-Thomas, just a day before his team would play St. Cloud State University in the semi-final match of the Frozen Four.