THN's Future Watch
Lowetide took a look at The Hockey News' latest Future Watch issue from an Oilers perspective last week, but for a fan of any team, it's pretty good reading material.
Given there's no longer a major junior team in town, I don't get a chance to watch all that many non-NHL prospects these days — and especially when it comes to those in the NCAA — and having a comprehensive guide to the top 10 prospects of all 30 teams is invaluable.
Here's how THN has the rankings shake out this year (these include a team's top 10 prospects and 21-and-under NHLers):
- St. Louis
- Los Angeles
- N.Y. Rangers
- San Jose
- N.Y. Islanders
- New Jersey
- Tampa Bay
One team I expected to be right up in the top three is Columbus, which has some incredible goal-scoring talent on the way in with the likes of Jakub Voracek and Derick Brassard.
I'm also surprised to see Vancouver ranked as high as it is given the dearth of talent coming out of its development system.
The other thing THN looks at is how high teams have picked over the past four years, something that would obviously impact the prospect pool. Chicago's had the highest average pick over this time period, followed by Washington, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Phoenix.
Teams on the bottom end include Toronto, Detroit, Philadelphia, Dallas and New Jersey.
According to where they've had to pick when weighed against the Future Watch rankings, the teams that have fared the best are St. Louis, Boston, Edmonton and Nashville.
Next up, I'll take a look at a few of the more intriguing prospects in the issue.