When fans of NHL teams feel that there is no hope for the current season, this is where they tend to look for inspiration and, above all else, faith.
Faith that next year could be better. That the second line won't always lack the scoring that it does right this second. That the lack of a puck-moving blueliner could be just around the bend. That the current starting netminder won't need to rack up 60-plus starts a year because some kid is killing it in the AHL.
Yes, teams turn to prospect lists and depth charts when things are bleak. And they also turn to them in times of glory.
Look no farther than the Boston Bruins for an example of that.
Yet every team in the NHL, from the Anaheim Ducks down to the Winnipeg Jets, has at least one prospect on the way that makes fans giddy. I'm here to identify that prospect for each team.
Real quick, lets define prospect. I'm not going to set a game limit or something along those lines. Instead, to be a prospect, a player must not currently be an important, integral part of his NHL teams success.
So that rules out players like Vladimir Tarasenko and Mikael Granlund. I'm not here to argue with you about who is "integral" on their teams and who isn't (though I'd be more than happy to discuss it). Instead, I'm here to shine a light onto the most promising, coveted prospect on every team.
If you find yourself thinking "this guy is full of it, it should be Player X", don't hesitate to let me hear it. But if more than the player I mention comes to mind, consider how lucky of a fan you are to be able to drool over more than one or two of the guys in your farm system.