The ongoing NHL lockout gives the league’s followers a daily increase in time to scan all of hockey’s lower levels and assess the future of every team. In turn, it is becoming exponentially easier to make concrete cases for who is the best member of each franchise’s prospect system.
But the more critical question could be “Who has the qualities that their respective team will need the most?”
In some cases, the answer may match that of the question of who is the most inherently celestial player in the wings.
Not always, though. Just remember what Herb Brooks tells his assistant, Craig Patrick, in Miracle.
“I’m not looking for the best players…I’m looking for the right ones.”
When it comes to an NHL team’s stable of prospects, it is most often possible to lock away both the most talented specimens and the critical long-term puzzle pieces, even when those are different people. But when, and if, given only one choice, the latter is a wiser point of emphasis.
So who, based on everyone’s present organizational landscape, is the right player to retain for the long run? One analyst’s answers for each team are presented as follows.