The New York Islanders' Ryan Strome is one of the top prospects currently not in the NHL, and he should be a mainstay on the roster for the 2013-14 season. Each prospect develops at a different pace, and it is hard to predict when they will be ready for prime time action. This slideshow will take a look at each team's top prospect outside the NHL and will predict when they will be ready to make their debut.
Lindholm was drafted in 2012.
Hampus Lindholm is a 6'3", 196-pound defenseman who should be ready for the NHL next season. He spent time this season with the Norfolk Admirals, but was limited to 44 games because of a concussion. Lindholm is a speedy skater with offensive ability, and he should be a stud on the Ducks' blue line for years to come.
Spooner is a two-way forward with upside.
Ryan Spooner is the Boston Bruins' top forward prospect and he should make the team next season. Spooner had a decent season with the Providence Bruins in the AHL; he had 57 points in 59 games—including a hat trick in his final regular season game. The Bruins have a number of free agents to re-sign this offseason, and adding a young, inexpensive two-way forward like Spooner could save them some cap room.
Joel Armia is a skilled forward with size who should make the jump to the NHL next season. The 6'3", 203-pound power forward tallied 33 points in 48 games, and he has 10 points in the postseason. Armia is a forward that Buffalo could really use on their roster, and fans won't have to wait long for him to join the NHL.
Gaudreau was drafted 108th overall in 2011.
Johnny Gaudreau is an undersized forward at 5'7" and 158 pounds, but he has a big heart. Gaudreau was a leader for Team USA at the WJC this year, and he took home a gold medal for his efforts. The Boston College Eagle will return for a third season in the NCAA, and he is coming off a solid 51-point season. Gaudreau could always join the Flames after the 2013-14 NCAA season concludes, but look for him to make his debut in 2014-15.
Murphy had a "cup of coffee" this season with Carolina.
Ryan Murphy is the top defenseman prospect in the Carolina Hurricanes' organization. He is primarily an offensive defenseman, but he is sound defensively. Murphy's skills include his skating, mobility, passing and his point shot. He should make the team next season, and he will be an asset on the power play. Murphy was with the Hurricanes in an emergency role this year, but he should be with the team full time next season.
Teravainen could be the steal of the 2012 draft.
Teuvo Teravainen arguably was the steal of the 2012 draft, and he had a solid 2012-13 season in Europe. The No. 2 ranked European skater by NHL Central Scouting was chosen by the Chicago Blackhawks 18th overall last June, and he had 31 points in 44 games with Jokerit Helsinki of the SM-liiga.Teravainen may be a small forward at 5'10" and 185 pounds, but his speed and scoring ability will allow him to be successful in the NHL.
Teravainen could spend another year overseas, or he could adjust to North American ice by spending a year with the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL, before making the jump to the NHL.
Siemens was drafted 11th overall in 2011.
Duncan Siemens was one of the Colorado Avalanche's first-round picks from 2011, and he should be on the blue line next season. Siemens is 6'3" and over 200 pounds, and is a physical player who skates very well for a big man. Offense may not be a big part of his game, but Siemens skates well enough to join the rush and he has the strength to deliver a decent point shot.
The Avs are only a few players away from being a playoff contender, and Siemens should help solidify the blue line.
Ryan Murray had bad luck this season after he suffered a season-ending injury, but he is a defenseman with a ton of upside. He was the No. 2 overall pick at last year's draft and he is a stud with a bright future. After missing an entire season it would be wise for Murray to spend a year in the AHL before making his NHL debut.
Faksa has upside as a top-six center.
Radek Faksa should be a member of the Dallas Stars in 2013-14, and he likely will. Faksa has the skills to be an effective player in the NHL, and he will have a great opportunity to make the roster next season. This season with the Kitchner Rangers Faksa had 31 points in 39 games, and he played two games with the Texas Stars of the AHL. Even if Faksa starts the season in the AHL, he will be on the roster before the 2013-14 season is over.
Although he is currently in the NHL, Gustav Nyquist spent the majority of his season in the minors. Nyquist had an amazing season with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL in which he contributed 60 points in 58 games. Nyquist has been back and forth between the NHL and AHL over the past few years, but he should be a permanent fixture on Detroit's roster next season. He is a two-way forward with offensive upside, and his creativity makes him fun to watch.
Klefbom will add depth to the Oilers' blue line.
Oscar Klefbom is currently playing in Europe, but he should be a member of the Edmonton Oilers next season. The Oilers' blue line is the biggest area that needs improvement, and Klefbom could be a big help. He is a speedy skater with size at 6'3" and 201 pounds, and he is a solid two-way blue liner.
Bjugstad has size, skill and strength.
Nick Bjugstad is only having a cup of coffee with the Florida Panthers this year, so he will still be considered a prospect next season. Bjugstad made the jump from the University of Minnesota after the NCAA season ended, and his is a player with top line potential. Bjugstad is a solid skater, he has solid offensive instincts and he is a pretty good all-around player.
Toffoli has offensive upside.
Tyler Toffoli recorded 50 points in 57 games this year with the Manchester Monarchs and he should be a full-time NHL player next season. He is currently on the Los Angeles Kings' roster, but he has been a frequent healthy scratch. Toffoli is 6'1" and 187 pounds, so gaining muscle could benefit him in the future. He is a scoring forward with upside, and could have a top-six role next season.
Dumba is a talented all-around defenseman.
Mathew Dumba is a physical defenseman who was drafted last year by the Minnesota Wild, and he should make his debut in the next few years. Dumba had 42 points in 62 games with the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL in 2012-13. The 18-year-old defenseman will likely spend a year in the WHL and some time in the AHL before he makes his NHL debut.
Collberg is a talented player with tremendous speed.
Sebastian Collberg is the Montreal Canadiens' top prospect outside the NHL, and he spent most of his season in Europe before joining the Hamilton Bulldogs in the AHL. Collberg is a speedy forward with great two-way skill. He isn't very big at 5'10" and 185 pounds, but his speed will allow him to play at the NHL level. He won't make the team out of training camp, but he should be one of Montreal's first call-ups next season.
Forsberg could be an amazing steal for Nashville.
The Nashville Predators added Filip Forsberg at the trade deadline, and he is a player with elite potential. He is a fast skater, has tremendous offensive skills and at 6'1", Forsberg is a dynamic forward who could make an immediate impact with the Predators next season. He should be a Calder Trophy favorite in 2013-14.
Boucher has a great shot and is a skilled scorer.
Reid Boucher had a monster year for the Sarnia Sting and he should be on the New Jersey Devils in a few years. Boucher scored 62 goals and had 95 points for the Sting in 2012-13, and the 19-year-old has a lot of potential. He is a skilled center with upside; look for him to make his NHL debut in about a year.
Strome is an uber talented forward.
Ryan Strome is the best prospect in North America currently not in the NHL. He is an elite-prospect with tons of offensive skills and hockey sense. This season Strome had 94 points with the Niagara IceDogs, and he joined the Bridgeport Sound Tigers when his junior season ended. Strome is almost a lock to join the team next season, and he should be the early favorite for the 2013-14 Calder Trophy.
Strome is a player who could be just as good as John Tavares, and that would add a ton of top-end talent to the Islanders' roster.
Miller has a bright future with the Rangers.
At this point J.T. Miller is the New York Rangers' top prospect. Chris Kreider has tremendous talent and skills, but he hasn't adjusted well to the NHL. Miller spent some time between the AHL and NHL this season, and he was a physical forward who was confident with the puck. He looked to make plays, but he tried to make moves that could only be pulled off at the Junior level.
Miller should be on the Rangers' roster next season, and he should benefit from a summer of NHL workouts and on-ice training.
Stone is one of the Senators' top prospects.
Mark Stone is a 6'2" and 188-pound forward who should be on the Senators' roster next season. Stone played with the Senators last year in the playoffs, but played for the Binghamton Senators after his Junior eligibility expired. Stone has 38 points, and he was a plus-21. The Senators' roster will likely include Stone next season, and he should fill an important role in the bottom-six. Stone has been an important part of Team Canada at the Junior level and he should be able to do the same for the Senators.
Laughton is a prototypical Philadelphia Flyer.
Scott Laughton was the Philadelphia Flyers' first-round draft pick in the 2012 NHL draft, and he joined the Adirondack Phantoms in the AHL. Laughton is a physical power forward who can produce offensively. He is a solid offensive power forward, and he should be a fixture on the roster in 2013-14. Laughton has the skills to make an impact in the Flyers' lineup and he should become a fan favorite with relative ease.
The Coyotes have a very talented young blue line.
Brandon Gormley is the top prospect in the Phoenix Coyotes' farm system and he had 26 points in 63 games with the Portland Pirates of the AHL during his rookie season. Gormley projects to be a top-pairing offensive defender, and he should be a solid power play quarterback. His overall skills including his skating ability and offensive instincts indicate he should crack the roster full time in 2013-14.
Pouliot is a top defensive prospect.
Derrick Pouliot is one of the Pittsburgh Penguins' top defensive prospects and he is only 19 years old. His skills include his mobility, his passing skills, vision and accurate shot, and he could be a solid power play quarterback..Pouliot is a member of the Portland Winterhawks, and he will likely return for another year in the WHL, or he will play for the WB-Scranton Penguins of the AHL. Pouliot is a talented defenseman, but he could use another year to prepare for NHL action.
Rattie will add some skill to the lineup.
Ty Rattie had an amazing 110-point season with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL, and he is currently a top playoff contributor with 25 points through 12 playoff games. Rattie is 6' and 167 pounds, and he is an energetic offensive player. He should be in the NHL next season, and he will add some skill and tenacity to the St.Louis Blues' roster. The Blues are a team that likes to play physical hockey and Rattie will fit right in.
Hertl is a top-end offensive prospect.
Tomas Hertl is a creative center who should make his debut in two seasons. He was a standout for the Czech Republic internationally at the WJC tournament, and he has a ton of potential. Hertl was drafted in 2012, has been playing hockey over in Europe and will need to adjust to North American ice before joining the NHL. He has great hands, creativity and his overall offensive game will add skill to the roster when he makes his debut.
Vladislav Namestnikov is an offensive-center with upside.
Vladislav Namestnikov is a talented offensive-center who had an average rookie season in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch. Namestnikov had 21 points in 43 games, but he should spend another year in the AHL next season. In 2014-15, he will be 22 years old and he will be ready for the NHL. His skill set includes a great wrist shot, speed and two-way play but he isn't quite yet ready to crack the Lightning's roster. There is always the chance he could be a call-up next season, but 2014-15 would be the right time for the young Russian forward.
Rielly has a bright future.
Morgan Rielly was the Toronto Maple Leafs' top pick from the 2012 draft, and he has made major improvements over the past year. His offensive game has picked up, and he is also more physical on the ice. Rielly had 54 points this year, and that was an improvement from the 46 points he had in 83 games over the past two seasons.
The Leafs have taken it slow with other defensive prospects like Jake Gardiner, so odds are Rielly could make the roster in late 2013 or early 2014. Rielly is a solid all-around defenseman, and he could become the league's franchise defender. He is a special prospect, and one who could go down as an all-time great Maple Leaf.
Jensen has size, speed and skill.
Nicklas Jensen is currently playing for the Chicago Wolves of the AHL, and he should be on the Canucks' roster next season. Jensen stands 6'3" and is a skilled skater and playmaker who is only 19 years old. He likely will make the roster because of his skill, and his cap hit will be very friendly. The Canucks need to cut a ton of salary this summer, and they still need to fill out roster spots. Jensen's biggest strength is his offensive creativity and his wrist shot, and he will fit in well with the Canucks' top six.
Evgeny Kuznetsov is an elite prospect who will add offense and creativity to the Washington Capitals. The Capitals' top prospect has stated that he will play for the Capitals after the Sochi Olympics, and he could join the team at the end of the 2013-14 season or the beginning of the 2014-15 season. Kuznetsov will be 21 or 22 when he makes his debut, and he could be an instant star once he joins the NHL.
Jacob Trouba is a talented defenseman with upside.
Jacob Trouba signed his entry-level contract with the Winnipeg Jets, and he should play in the AHL next season. He is only 19 years old and has a lot of developing to do. Trouba's offensive skills are solid, but he still needs to gain experience adjusting to the speed of professional hockey. Trouba is 6'1" and 183 pounds, so hopefully he will add some muscle before joining the Jets at the NHL level.