Welcome to the 2023 Hockey Prospecting team prospect strength rankings!
Just like last year, the team strength approach we will be using at Hockey Prospecting is to use our own model, largely based on NHLe tracking over a five year period – from the pre-draft year (D-1) to the three years after the draft year (D+3). The draft year is the prospect’s first eligible draft year so players drafted in their first eligible year and overagers are all on the same level here.
Like last year, the rankings are updated at season’s end as well as after the draft is complete.
We’ll look at each team’s system by:
- The player was drafted from 2018 to 2022 or was eligible to be drafted in those years. For goalies, the cut off was dropped back to 2016 as goalies take a lot longer to develop than skaters.
- The player could have been drafted by the team or they now own the player’s rights through signing or trading for the player
- All ‘prospects’ will have played less than 100 games in the NHL.
What we’ll analyze (five categories):
- Average Star probability and NHLer probability of top 5 prospects (top prospects determined not by probabilities but consensus top 5 prospects that meet the parameters above. In certain markets where required, local trusted sources and experts (team staff, journalists, independent scouts, etc.) were enlisted to help determine the team’s top 5 prospects).
- 10%+ Star Probability: The number of players with a Star probability of 10% or more. Most prospects have very little star likelihood. This metric provides insight to how many players in the system have at least a shot of being a Star.
- 30%+ NHLer Probability: The number of players with a NHLer probability of 30% or more. We chose 30% as a cut off as 3 of 10 will still make the NHL here. Below that, the odds get less and less and over half of prospects fit the 0% to 29% criteria. This category and the previous one assess the skater depth of the system. The more of these pieces you have throughout the system, the better.
- Top Goalies NHLer Probabilities: Factoring in the two highest NHLer probability goalie prospects in the system and determining the likelihood that they have least one 100+ NHL game goalie in the system. A system with one exceptional prospect but lackluster beyond the one (e.g., Carolina) or a system with multiple good bets (e.g., Anaheim) will show well here.
- Teams are ranked in each of the five categories above and then the average rank of the five categories determines the team’s overall ranking. This will give us a good sense of what each team has for grade A talent and how many players with a better than average shot at making the NHL does each team have in their system.
- The skater ranking (an average of the four components) accounts for 90% of the overall ranking and the goalie ranking accounts for 10% of the overall ranking.
Hockey Prospecting members can access the ‘Team Prospect Strength Tool’ and see the rankings and each player within them.
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Now the rankings!
- Columbus Blue Jackets
Top Skater Prospects: David Jiricek, Kent Johnson, Denton Mateychuk, Kirill Marchenko and Jordan Dumais
It’s only taken the Blue Jackets a few years but they’ve quickly assembled the best prospect pool in the NHL. The top 5 is loaded, with an average Star probability of 44% and an average NHLer probability of 79% (ranking 1 and 2 respectively). The system has good depth as well, ranking in the top 10 in both depth categories. As well, there’s an 80% chance that the Blue Jackets have a NHL goalie in their system. Daniil Tarasov is the leading candidate there (with a 66% probability). He has already started to make in roads into an NHL career this year (playing in 17 games in 2022-23 and 21 in total).
There’s not many holes to the Blue Jackets system. High-caliber prospects at every position. Add to it that the Blue Jackets were one of the worst teams in the league this year and as a result will almost certainly end up with a top 5 pick this year (one of the deepest drafts we’ve ever seen). The already elite Blue Jackets’ prospect pool is going to get even stronger in a few months from now.
2. Minnesota Wild
Top Skater Prospects: Marco Rossi, Calen Addison, Brock Faber, Danila Yurov and Liam Ohgren
The Wild’s prospect pool has been going strong for a number of years. Even with the graduation of Matthew Boldy (a Hockey Prospecting favorite who has essentially been a star since the moment he played in the NHL), the Wild’s system remains very strong. Their top 5, headlined by Marco Rossi (who’s still trying to find his game in the NHL), is good but has dropped off with Boldy graduating. Where the Wild thrive is in the depth of their system (ranking 1st in Star depth and 3rd in NHLer depth). In total the Wild have 22 players with at least a 30% chance of becoming an NHLer and 9 with at least a 10% chance of becoming a star.
The Wild also own one of the best goalie prospects in the world in Jesper Wallstedt (who looks favorable in the Hockey Prospecting model as well). Amongst playoff teams, the Wild have the highest ranked prospect pool. This bodes well for a team hoping to turn into a contender over the coming years but who is also facing some cap problems over the next few years as well. They’re going to need some kids on ELCs to play prominent roles and the Wild have the system for this to happen.
3. Montreal Canadiens
Top Skater Prospects: Lane Hutson, Filip Mesar, Justin Barron, Juraj Slafkovsky and Kaiden Guhle
It was only a few years ago when the Canadiens had a low ranked prospect system via Hockey Prospecting, and we would catch constant flack about how low they were ranked. Well now the Canadiens have a legitimately strong prospect pool (most of the strength being added from the past 3 drafts).
With Slafkovsky and Guhle making the NHL early but not surpassing 100 game yet, they help the rankings. They’re most certainly going to cross 200 games and this is reflected in the model. But what’s also helped jump the Canadiens up a few spots is the emergence of Lane Hutson as one of the best offensive dmen prospects not currently playing in the NHL. He just had a season in the NCAA like we haven’t seen for 3 or 4 decades. He’s small but he is a legitimate excellent prospect. I’m still imagining a world where the Habs take Wright, Cooley or Nemec with their 1st overall pick in 2022 but regardelss they still have a nice system.
The Canadiens also have incredible depth in their system (ranking 3rd in star depth and 1st in NHLer depth with 24!!! potential future NHLers in the cupboards). Not even included in the top 5 skaters are Sean Farrell and Joshua Roy, who don’t show a lot of star potential, but for deep round picks, look excellent with substantial chances of making the NHL. The system could use an elite center and goalie prospect to round it out as those are really the only holes currently.
4. New Jersey Devils
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Luke Hughes, Simon Nemec, Seamus Casey, Alexander Holtz and Arseny Gritsyuk
The Devils have fully arrived. They are a playoff team now loaded with talent and likely turning into a legitimate contender over the next 1-2 years, if they’re not already there. Generally a team as strong as the Devils doesn’t also have a strong prospect pool but the Devils certainly do. The strength in their system is top heavy, its driven by their top 5 skaters (where they’re ranked at the top along with Columbus).
Seamus Casey (who had a terrific freshman year in Michigan), Alexander Holtz (a high draft pick from 2020 that hasn’t quite found a spot in the NHL yet) and Arseny Gritsyuk (a late blooming Russian prospect of the Sherangovich variety) are fine prospects. But Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec (who the Devils have both) are two of the very best D prospects in the world and are the driving force of their top 5.
Luke Hughes, the youngest of the Hughes brothers, has that elite Hughes skating (like his brothers) but also a bit of size to him. His projection is very similar to brother Quinn (one of the best offensive dmen of the past 3 decades). Simon Nemec has produced at such an outrageous rate at such an early age (in the pro Euro circuit (Slovakia league)) and now into the AHL in his post-draft year. He compares to almost nobody. The only ones that are in the same realm are Bobby Orr, Phil Housley and Ryan Ellis.
As well, the Devils are seeing uncommon early NHL starts and success from two young recently drafted goalies (Nico Daws and Akira Schmidt). They likely have a 100+ game goalie between the two.
5. Arizona Coyotes
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Logan Cooley, Artyom Duda, Matias Maccelli, Conor Geekie and Dylan Guenther
The Coyotes prospect pool is relatively strong all over (ranking in the top 10 in every skater category; 13th in goalies). The prize gem of the system is obviously Logan Cooley. He looked like a future star when he was drafted 3rd overall in 2022. Now with an elite producing freshman season with Minnesota, he looks like a certain future star.
Matias Maccelli, who counts as he hasn’t played 100 games in the NHL yet, is a nice win for the Coyotes. Drafted in the 4th round in 2019, he’s 87 games into his career and is nearly producing like a star already (he’s also in the Calder conversation). When he was drafted, he always looked good in the Hockey Prospecting system (showing much more NHLer potential than most late picks) but it was unlikely he would be a star. If the Coyotes pulled a rabbit out of a hat and just got a star out of nowhere from a late round pick that could do wonders for their system.
One concern of the pool however is Conor Geekie. Based on his draft profile, where he was drafted, his size and relative age, I expected a huge jump in production in his D+1 season, where he went back to the WHL. But it didn’t happen. He netted out essentially where he was last year. His D+2 season (which again will likely find him in the WHL) will be massive.
6. Anaheim Ducks
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Sasha Pastujov, Nathan Gaucher, Pavel Mintyukov, Olen Zellweger and Mason McTavish
The Ducks prospect system is still excellent (ranking 6th). Even with Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale no longer counting as they’ve graduated, the top 5 has substantial Star (Zellweger, Mintyukov and Pastujov) and NHLer probability. They also rank 3rd in the goalie ranking. With Dostal and Clang, the Ducks very likely have a goalie in their system that will cross over 100 games in the NHL.
I mentioned this last year, but Anaheim dropped themselves out of a top 5 prospect system with a weaker draft (compared to 2020 and 2021) in 2022. Hopefully they’re able to accumulate some heavy NHL likelihood players in the 2023, like they did in 2020 and 2021.
As well, Jacob Perreault, drafted 27th overall in 2020, ranked very favorable in the Hockey Prospecting system when he was drafted. He had a near elite profile and seemed to be making his way towards the NHL. However, his NHLer likelihood has really fallen off with a big drop off in his D+3 season in the AHL. He only registered 19 points in 48 games. Perhaps this was injury related and he’ll bounce back in 2023-24 but that was a killer of a season that really hurt his chances. Dropped him so far down that I would no longer consider him a top 5 prospect in the Ducks system.
7. Buffalo Sabres
Top 5 Skater Prosepcts: Owen Power, Jack Quinn, Matthew Savoie, Jiri Kulich and John Peterka
The Sabres hold steady with the 7th ranked system. The Sabres rank in the top 10 in every skater category, but not at the top of any of them. One or two more big pieces will get them into the top 5. What it’s missing is a top-flight center prospect. The Hockey Prospecting system doesn’t love their goalies as well (ranking them 22nd) and could use a few elite goalie options. But I will say I think the system is wrong about Devon Levi (just watching him and the excitement around him he probably plays). Goalies that come from CCHL and miss whole seasons (COVID-related) in the middle of their prime development years, it just doesn’t happen ever. So the predictive model isn’t as high on Levi but it’s probably missing on this one.
Matthew Savoie, drafted 9th overall in 2022, is one point of mild concern. He’s a very small center (5’9”) who is supposed to be elite offensively. I would have expected a big jump from him going back to the WHL this year. He had a nice year but wasn’t as high as I was expecting (he did have surgery in the summer and started the season slow but finished the year strong). If Savoie is going to be an impact player, based on his size, he will need to do so as an offensive driver in the top 6. I would hope to see him cross over an equivalency in the 40s or 50s in his D+1 season or D+2 season (especially given he’s a January-born player). Hopefully a big jump is in his future for 2023-24.
8. LA Kings
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Quinton Byfield, Brandt Clarke, Alex Turcotte, Francesco Pinelli and Jordan Spence
The Kings, who held one of the best prospect systems in the league for years, have taken a step back… due to many of their best prospects making the NHL and no longer counting here. Vilardi, Kaliyev and Durzi no longer count and Byfield is just barely going to hang on before he crosses over 100 games. As a result, their top 5 isn’t as strong as it was but there’s still some great potential (Clarke and Byfield especially). They have slightly less depth than they used to as well (mostly due to graduations which is a good thing) but they still have a system with 17 players with decent NHLer probability.
Their goalie pool is still league worst, even with the acquisition of Erik Portillo from Buffalo (model still isn’t high on him). The Kings missed their chance with Wallstedt and Askarov (two elite looking pro Euro prospects that were just sitting there). They need to add a few notable goalie prospects. They should be digging in, trying to find a Euro prospect that could get on an early track in a pro Euro league (KHL, SHL, Liiga) that could come over in the next 3-4 years, that’s where the money is.
9. Dallas Stars
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Wyatt Johnston, Logan Stankoven, Thomas Harley, Nils Lundkvist and Mavrik Bourque
The Stars have been great at drafting for years and it continues. The system has good depth to it with 16 prospects with some NHL potential. The Stars took some risks in the 2021 draft, selecting two players that really didn’t play at all in their draft in Logan Stankoven and Wyatt Johnston. And the gamble appears to have paid off big time. Johnston is already a 20-goal man in the NHL, in his D+2 season. Logan Stankoven’s stock has increased dramatically since the draft. He is now in the consideration as a top 15 league-wide prospect not currently in the NHL.
The Stars goalie rank is low. They don’t have much in the system so they’ll want to add to that. But they did just draft Oettinger, a franchise goalie, in 2017 (he no longer counts here). So they’re set for a decade anyways on that front.
10. Philadelphia Flyers
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Tyson Foerster, Cam York, Cutter Gauthier, Bobby Brink and Emil Andrae
The Flyers have a skater prospect that is above average from all sides but nothing blowing the doors off in terms of superstar potential. A lot of good potential NHL pieces but still lacking the star potential that can swing a lineup.
The Flyers goalie pool is good as well. Fedotov, who no longer counts as he was drafted in 2015, looks good. He tried to come over last year but we all know what happened there. They still have Kolosov, another product of the KHL who’s actually from Belarus so the same restrictions to Russians may not apply. He has been on the KHL very early, atypically, so. In a few more years he could be on of the best goalie prospects in the world. Ersson also has a chance and has already started to get into games for Philadelphia this season.
11. Carolina Hurricanes
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Scott Morrow, Jack Drury, Alexander Nikishin, Ryan Suzuki and Gleb Trikozov
The Hurricanes, who are becoming more and more of a contender over the last few years, have a top 10 prospect pool. As has been the case for the past few years, the Hurricanes system and their strength at the draft is drafting much more pieces with significant NHL potential than any other playoff team out there. The Hurricanes have traded away a number of picks, like most going for it all, but when they do step up to the plate they don’t just take unlikely late round low bets. They cash in on massive value by picking undersized prospects and Euro (especially Russian) prospects that other teams stay away from.
They have 24 prospects in the system with at least a 30% NHLer probability, which is tied for 1st with the Canadiens. Their top 5 isn’t anything extraordinary but the overall depth of their system keeps them loaded with potential ELC candidates to fill out a nearly capped out roster, year after year.
As well, Pyotr Kochetkov is one of the best goalie prospects in the world and is primed for a start/backup NHL job, which he will probably find himself in next season.
The Hurricanes are the new model for how to draft as a contending team, to keep the competitive window open for longer. The Hurricanes won’t need to rebuild for a decade or more.
12. Seattle Kraken
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Matty Beniers, Shane Wright, Jagger Firkus, Ryker Evans and David Goyette
The Kraken have only been around for 22 or so months but they’ve already amassed a substantial prospect pool. Beniers, who’s in the NHL and contributing hugely, is leading their top 5. However, Shane Wright, the once unanimous 1st overall choice who somehow dropped to 4th, is developing fine and, with Beniers, will create a deadly 1-2 punch down the middle for the next 1-2 decades.The Kraken, for being so new, have been able to add a good amount of depth to their system, holding 12 prospects with substantial NHL probabilities. If the Kraken hadn’t surprisingly made the playoffs in their 2nd season, they’d likely have a top 10 prospect pool after the 2023 draft. Maybe they still get there with some more under the radar excellence like 2022.
13. Toronto Maple Leafs
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Nick Robertson, Rodion Amirov, Matthew Knies, Fraser Minten and Nick Abruzzese
The Maple Leafs system, which has regularly found itself in the top 10 on the HP team strength ranking for the past few years, is starting to step back. Like the Kings, some of this is due to graduations. Liljegren and Sandin (now with the Capitals) no longer count. But also due to not having many picks the last few years, as they load up every year to try and do something, finally, in the playoffs, they haven’t been able to keep pace and add pieces. As well, Robertson and Amirov (health complications) haven’t developed exactly how expected over the past few years which has dampened the potential of the top 5 a bit.
The pool still has good depth, however, with 21 potential NHL pieces total in the mix. Dubas and Co. are excellent at taking chances on players with good NHL probabilities, knowing full well a lot won’t hit, but if you have enough reasonable bet bullets, some of them have to strike.
14. Detroit Red Wings
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Marco Kasper, Simon Edvinsson, Jonatan Berggren, William Wallinder and Albert Johansson
The Red Wings pool has taken a step back from the past few rankings as Seider and Raymond no longer count in this analysis as they’ve played too many NHL games. Their top 5 is entirely made up of safe, two-way Euro prospects but doesn’t look to have much star power. I say that but Seider and Raymond also looked like this early on.
The system needs more depth to get back into the top 10 as well as potentially a few more bluechip high star potential pieces in the top 5. As well, Sebastian Cossa isn’t knocking on the door of an NHL job yet either. Still some potential there but I wonder if they’re regretting not taking Wallstedt instead yet.
15. San Jose Sharks
Top 5 Skater Prospects: William Eklund, Shakir Mukhamadullin, Filip Bystedt, Daniil Gushchin and Thomas Bordeleau
The Sharks system is average across the board. The top 5 has some nice pieces but nothing really earth-shattering (Eklund, especially, hasn’t progressed as I would have expected). The pool has some depth to it but San Jose has missed the playoffs the past 4 years and they’re not on the verge of breaking out. While Karlsson has re-found his elite self, having a 100 point season this year, that trade probably set their prospect pool back years. The Sharks, with multiple 1st round picks in a deep draft, should be able to increase their pool substantially with the 2023 draft. But it will be years before they turn the corner.
16. Chicago Blackhawks
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Lukas Reichel, Kevin Korchinski, Frank Nazar, Colton Dach and Nolan Allan
The Blackhawks system is now right in the middle of the pack. The top 5 has some notable, very young substantial pieces (Reichel, Korchinski and Nazar). But the system, compared to other rebuilding teams, needs much more depth and NHL-caliber pieces. It’s a long-way off from being complete. A bit concerning considering the Blackhawks have essentially been a non-playoff team for 6 years now. They’ll likely reach a decade or more in between playoff appearances as they’re just bottoming out now.
17. Ottawa Senators
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Jake Sanderson, Shane Pinto, Ridley Greig, Lassi Thomson and Jacob Bernard-Docker
Stutzle, Norris, Batherson, Brannstrom have all graduated so the pool isn’t as deep as it used to be. But Sanderson, in his first NHL season, upped his stock significantly, showing he belongs immediately. Greig continues to progress like a late 1st that makes the NHL (likely in a middle six role). The Sens goalie prospects also took steps forward in their development (Sogaard especially).
I’d be concerned about the Sens middle of the road prospect system given they’re a non-playoffs team. Especially when they may have completely whiffed on a top 10 pick with Tyler Boucher. But the Sens also have one of the most star-studded teams in the league (all except Giroux are very young too). The Sens moment is coming. They will be returning to playoff form in the coming seasons. Missing on Boucher shouldn’t matter. Add to it they’re about to be bought by Ryan Reynolds and become fun as hell… I’m bullish on the Sens over the next few years!
18. Colorado Avalanche
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Ryan Merkley, Sean Behrens, Bowen Byram, Oskar Olausson and Jean-Luc Fouday
The Avalanche system surprisingly took a slight step forward from the last ranking post draft in July. This is due to the acquisition of Ryan Merkley, who HP has and continues to be high on (although the hope is starting to fade). For a defending Cup winner and perennial contender, the Avs have a pretty decent top 5 prospect pool. The depth of their system, as you might expect from a team in load up for the playoffs mode, is lacking. Once the Avs graduate some of the current top 5, the prospect pool will fall down to the basement, with Pittsburgh, Tampa, Washington and Boston (repeat Cup Finalists and Cup Winners of the past decade). That’s how she goes for most contenders.
19. Winnipeg Jets
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Cole Perfetti, Rutger McGroarty, Ville Heinola, Brad Lambert and Chaz Lucius
The Jets top 5 are a nice grouping of prospects, especially for a team that’s been in and around the playoffs since 2014. The system could use an influx of depth as it only has 12 prospects with some NHL semblance.
20. St. Louis Blues
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Jimmy Snuggerud, Jake Neighbours, Simon Robertsson, Zachary Bolduc and Scott Perunovich
The Blues prospect system finds itself in a similar place to where it’s been the last few years. The top 5 has a few likely NHL pieces, but not bluechip (except for perhaps Snuggerud who had a terrific freshman year with Minnesota). Depth continues to lack, compared to the top prospect systems.
21. Edmonton Oilers
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Carter Savoie, Philip Broberg, Raphael Lavoie, Dylan Holloway and Xavier Bourgault
Bouchard has officially graduated and now there doesn’t appear to be any star potential left in the pool. With Bouchard emerging as a legitimate star defender and McDavid and Draisaitl (two of the very best in the world) in their primes, not having a potential star in the prospect pool isn’t an immediate concern. But if they don’t add to it soon, in 5 years from now when they need a prospect to assume a big role… there might not be the piece there waiting for them (rule of thumb: even a playoff team should be adding at least one star to their system every 2-3 years).
22. Vegas Golden Knights
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Pavel Dorofeyev, Lukas Cormier, Daniil Chayka, Brendan Brisson and Ivan Morozov
The top 5 has some NHL potential. Dorofeyev, who HP was very high on at the draft, got into the lineup in 2023 and saw some good success in the Top 6. Likely no stars in their draft pool.
23. Nashville Predators
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Reid Schaefer, Joakim Kemell, Luke Evangelista, Fyodor Svechkov and Zachary L’Heureux
Like most of the pools in the early and mid 20’s, the Predators have some pieces that will likely become NHLers but very likely no stars/superstars in the mix.
24. New York Rangers
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Brennan Othmann, Will Cuylle, Adam Sykora, Zac Jones and Matthew Robertson
Hopefully the Rangers are turning into a legitimate contender as their prospect pool is quickly nosediving into one of the worst pools in the league. Not much depth. A few pieces in the Top 5 but likely nothing close to a star.
25. Calgary Flames
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Matthew Coronato, Jakob Pelletier, Connor Zary, William Stromgren and Jeremie Poirier
Valimaki is gone to Arizona and doesn’t count as a prospect anymore. Neither does Ruzicka. Coronato, Pelletier and Zary could all be in the NHL next year but it would be surprising if any of them turn into a star (something the Flames desperately need). On the goalie side, Wolf continues to excel at every level. The model isn’t as high on him as you’d expect (due to his size and CHL track) but, like Levi, I think it might be wrong on him. The results have just been incredible and he looks primed to play 20 or 30 games next year.
26. Florida Panthers
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Mackie Samoskevich, Michael Benning, Evan Nause, Justin Sourdif and Grigor Denisenko
Not a very strong prospect pool and few high picks from 2022 to 2024. The pool likely won’t be growing in strength over the coming years.
27. Tampa Bay Lightning
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Isaac Howard, Lucas Edmonds, Cole Koepke, Jack Finley and Dylan Duke
Not much there at all, as you’d expect from the Cup contender that trades away picks every year to go for it. Isaac Howard was a player HP was really high on at the draft and thought the Lightning stole one with him. But his freshman year in college was incredibly underwhelming and has really sunk his chances.
28. Vancouver Canucks
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Aatu Raty, Jonathan Lekkerimaki, Vitali Kravtsov, Elias Pettersson (the other one) and Linus Karlsson
The Canucks have a really shallow prospect pool. There’s little to no star potential in it and even the NHL potential is subpar. Not good for a team with no real plan. Are they a playoff team or are they a rebuilding team? One positive for the Canucks is the NHL squad has a nice star core (Pettersson, Hughes, Hronek, Boeser, Miller and Demko) who are all relatively young. Can they get out of some terrible contracts and build around them without trading some of them to attempt to fix it?
29. Pittsburgh Penguins
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Owen Pickering, Samuel Poulin, Nathan Legare, Filip Hallander and Zam Plante
Penguins miss the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. Now that their core is into their mid 30’s and their prospect pool is near league worst, things might start to get ugly for the Penguins over the coming years (rapid fall off, years and years of no playoffs, long rebuild).
30. Washington Capitals
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Connor McMichael, Hendrix Lapierre, Alexander Alexeyev, Ivan Miroshnichenko and Ryan Chesley
Similar boat to the Penguins. A couple pieces in the prospect pool but nothing earth shattering. Acquiring Sandin from Toronto at such a young age may help soften the blow. But it won’t surprise me if the Capitals don’t make the playoffs again in the Ovechkin era.
31. New York Islanders
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Samuel Bolduc, Ruslan Iskhakov, William Dufour, Calle Odelius and Simon Holmstrom
Years of drafting the “safe defensive” pick with little offensive potential while also trading away picks has caught up to the Islanders. The Islanders have a prospect pool that is bottom 5 in every category. Sorokin is legitimatley one of the best goalies in the world (he no longer counts as a prospect). At least they can ride him for the next 10 years.
32. Boston Bruins
Top 5 Skater Prospects: Mason Lohrei, Johnny Beecher, Fabian Lysell, Brett Harrison and Matthew Poitras
As has been the case the last few seasons, the Bruins continue to have the worst prospect pool in the NHL. Not much there. It would be something of a miracle if the Bruins have a future star in their current pool.