The 2013 NHL Draft brought an influx of talent into the league's pool of future stars. The likes of Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin join Evgeny Kuznetsov, Ryan Strome and Mark Scheifele as some of the best young prospects who are working their way toward becoming regulars in the best pro hockey league in the world.
Where does this new blood rank among the old guard?
These players represent not only the future of their respective teams, but the league as a whole. Eventually, it will be these guys fans pay hard-earned dollars to see. In the case of some of them, folks have been dropping cash to witness them play in the minors and major junior leagues over the past couple of years.
Regardless of their backgrounds, these 50 players represent the best of the best when it comes to up-and-coming NHL talent.
Some of the best prospects from the 2013 draft class.
Skaters were evaluated in the following areas:
Goaltenders were evaluated in the following areas:
—Review of firsthand scouting reports
—Surveys of various articles from around the web
All prospects who hadn't played more than 25 games in the NHL were eligible for this list. Also worth noting is that the margin between, say, the 37th spot and the 28th isn't particularly wide. All of these players are remarkably talented, so don't take it as a slight if you think that your guy should be 10 places higher—he probably could be.
Malcom Subban, Goaltending prospect of the Boston Bruins
Some of the last players standing who didn't quite make the top 50:
Sami Vatanen (D), Anaheim Ducks
Malcolm Subban (G), Boston Bruins
Max Reinhart (C), Calgary Flames
Quinton Howden (LW), Florida Panthers
Stefan Noesen (RW), Ottawa Senators
Jarred Tinordi (D), Montreal Canadiens
Dmitrij Jaskin (RW), St. Louis Blues
Vladislav Namestnikov (C), Tampa Bay Lightning
Drafted: 2010, second round (51st overall)
DOB: September 25, 1991 (21 years old)
Height: 6'0'' Weight: 176 lbs
Scouting Report: Calle Jarnkrok's most outstanding trait is his ability to stickhandle and rag the puck in the offensive zone for long stretches of time. His hockey sense is well above average, and he's a very capable playmaker.
Expected Impact: This is the kind of forward the Detroit Red Wings covet. He's a puck-possession player who possesses a lot of speed—he could find his way onto Detroit's roster as soon as 2013-14.
Drafted: 2008, first round (16th overall)
DOB: January 30, 1990 (23 years old)
Height: 6'5'' Weight: 213 lbs
Scouting Report: While Joe Colborne's size will jump out at you when you see him play, he's actually an alarmingly pronounced skater for a man his size. He also has very soft hands around the net and an elusive and quick release.
Expected Impact: The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Colborne in the Tomas Kaberle deal—it's obvious that they were looking to add a skilled and sizeable pivot, and that's exactly what the 23-year-old is.
Drafted: 2011, second round (37th overall)
DOB: June 15, 1993 (20 years old)
Height: 6'2'' Weight: 204 lbs
Scouting Report: Boone Jenner is a gritty and talented center who brings a truckload of intangibles to the ice on a nightly basis. He can score as well as he can hit and is always a threat to make an impact on the game—either via a big check or an awesome offensive shift.
Expected Impact: The Columbus Blue Jackets have experienced a tremendous shift in identity over the past 12 months, and Jenner will fit right in on a squad that plays with a collective chip on its shoulder. He should be in the NHL in 2013-14.
Drafted: 2012, first round (18th overall)
DOB: September 11, 1994 (18 years old)
Height: 5'10'' Weight: 185 lbs
Scouting Report: There isn't anything about Teuvo Teravainen's game that isn't explosive. He's a very fast skater, and utilizes a booming one-timer during power plays to scorch goalies and defenders alike.
Expected Impact: Teravainen is a supremely skilled player who will complement the likes of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews quite well. He'll be a big help with the extra man when he eventually sticks with the Chicago Blackhawks, which will likely be sooner rather than later now that Dave Bolland and Michael Frolik are gone.
Drafted: 2009, second round (52nd overall)
DOB: February 7, 1991 (22 years old)
Height: 6'2'' Weight: 212 lbs
Scouting Report: Combining an abundant amount of offensive skill with great size, Richard Panik is a threat to do damage in the offensive zone every time he's on the ice. While he leaves a little to be desired on the defensive end of the puck, there's little question that Panik is a marvelous goal scorer.
Expected Impact: The Tampa Bay Lightning are desperately missing some size up front, and while Panik isn't a towering presence, he's big enough to make an impact when needed.
Drafted: 2011, first round (16th overall)
DOB: May 31, 1993 (20 years ago)
Height: 6'3'' Weight: 187 lbs
Scouting Report: A heavy-bodied and net-driving power forward, Joel Armia knows how and when to use his size to produce goals for his team. He has great hands around the cage and a killer instinct that allows him to finish while in traffic.
Expected Impact: Some scouts think that Armia is the best goal scorer the Buffalo Sabres have drafted since picking Thomas Vanek in 2003. He's been nearly a 20-goal scorer over his past three seasons in the SM-liiga and should have a similar impact with Buffalo once he arrives.
Drafted: 2013, first round (seventh overall)
DOB: February 4, 1995 (18 years old)
Height: 6'4'' Weight: 185 lbs
Scouting Report: Widely regarded as the best defender in the 2013 draft outside of Seth Jones, Darnell Nurse is a defensive-defenseman with an growing mean streak. He relishes the physical aspect of the game and is difficult to play against.
Expected Impact: Nurse's offensive game is still a work in progress, but he's already an NHL-caliber player in his own zone. He's exactly what the Edmonton Oilers needed on the blue line, and he'll be a fan favorite for years to come.
Drafted: 2012, first round (13th overall)
DOB: January 9, 1994 (19 years old)
Height: 6'3'' Weight: 210 lbs
Scouting Report: Big, strong and smart, Radek Faksa is an all-around forward who can leave his mark on games in many ways. His hockey IQ is very high, and he's as valuable on the penalty kill as he is setting up in the offensive zone during five-on-five play because of that.
Expected Impact: In recent years, the Dallas Stars have taken to drafting larger players. Faksa fits that mold perfectly. In time, this will be a team that isn't very fun to play against, and the 2012 first-round pick will be a big part of that.
Drafted: 2012, first round (sixth overall)
DOB: January 20, 1994 (19 years old)
Height: 6'3'' Weight: 195 lbs
Scouting Report: The Anaheim Ducks reached a bit to select Hampus Lindholm in 2012, but he rewarded them handsomely with a strong North American debut in the AHL this year. He's a stable puck-mover from the blue line, but he really shined on the defensive side of things while honing his skills with the Norfolk Admirals.
Expected Impact: Anaheim's defensive core is getting a bit long in the tooth, and Lindholm could challenge for a roster spot as soon as the upcoming 2013-14 season. He plays a low-risk game that would translate well at the NHL level.
Drafted: 2013, first round (13th overall)
DOB: March 2, 1995 (18 years old)
Height: 5'9'' Weight: 197 lbs
Scouting Report: Small in stature but massive in talent, Max Domi is one of the more interesting prospects coming out of a stacked 2013 draft class. His skill is electric, and he plays much bigger than his 5'9'' frame would indicate—something that should help him climb the mountain to the NHL someday.
Expected Impact: Domi is a classic boom-or-bust player. He really doesn't have the skill set that lends itself well to playing a bottom-six role, so he was drafted to eventually evolve into a top-six forward who can be effective in the offensive zone.
Drafted: 2011, first round (17th overall)
DOB: December 5, 1992 (20 years old)
Height: 6'1'' Weight: 184 lbs
Scouting Report: Given his current rate of development, Nathan Beaulieu could be a top-pairing offensive defenseman within the next year or two. He's an awesome skater, and his hockey smarts allow him to thread passes to teammates with ease. Beaulieu also possesses an outstanding slap shot and a noticeable mean streak.
Expected Impact: Young offensive defenders can sometimes appear a bit run 'n gun-ish. That isn't the case here, and the Montreal Canadiens figure to have another smart three-zone guy in Beaulieu.
Drafted: 2009, first round (17th overall)
DOB: October 8, 1990 (22 years old)
Height: 6'2'' Weight: 190 lbs
Scouting Report: The offensive game is NHL-quality while the attention to detail in the defensive zone is more fit for the AHL. David Rundblad is still a work in progress, but his offensive capabilities are certainly there and noteworthy.
Expected Impact: If he develops the defensive side of his game, Rundblad could eventually be a quality offensive defenseman for the Phoenix Coyotes. He has a cannon for a shot and is a very capable puck distributor.
Drafted: 2011, second round (32nd overall)
DOB: February 5, 1993 (20 years ago)
Height: 6'0'' Weight: 167 lbs
Scouting Report: While not overly big, Ty Rattie has a knack for finding open space out on the ice right as the puck gets there. He has an incredible nose for the net and is dangerous when he has the puck within a few feet of the cage.
Expected Impact: The St. Louis Blues are a big and physical team that could use a player of Rattie's mold up front. He's not particularly fast, but he often seems to be at the right place at the right time. You can't teach that.
Drafted: 2012, first round (30th overall)
DOB: August 10, 1992 (20 years old)
Height: 6'0'' Weight: 205 lbs
Scouting Report: Chock-full of determination and attitude, Tanner Pearson was passed over in two consecutive drafts before the Los Angeles Kings selected him 30th overall in 2012. He's evolved into a sound two-player who is responsible with the puck in all three zones.
Expected Impact: Pearson isn't a particularly flashy forward, and it remains to be seen if his offensive style of play will translate at the NHL level. Still, there's a lot of character and drive here—enough will to make it happen when given the opportunity to stick with the Kings.
Drafted: 2009, second round (46th overall)
DOB: July 24, 1991 (21 years old)
Height: 6'3'' Weight: 220 lbs
Scouting Report: Robin Lehner is a big and well-conditioned goalie who is very difficult to beat with low shots because of his size and lankiness. His rebound control is still suspect, as is his focus, but that's the case with most 21-year-old goalies who aren't at an elite level.
Expected Impact: After making a few spot starts in the NHL and earning his first shutout, it's likely that Lehner will see a majority of the starts for Ottawa's affiliate in the AHL. Lehner still has some rough edges, but the talent is there for him to eventually earn a starting gig at the next level.
Drafted: 2012, first round (19th overall)
DOB: July 25, 1994 (18 years old)
Height: 6'3'' Weight: 204 lbs
Scouting Report: The first goaltender selected in the 2012 draft, Andrei Vasilevski has since continually impressed the Tampa Bay Lightning with his combination of size and speed. His focus is top-notch, and he's been nearly unbeatable while playing for Ufa's junior team in 2013.
Expected Impact: Tampa selected Vasilevski to be its starting netminder down the road, and that's precisely the road that the super-talented Russian is on. He's expected to arrive in North America in 2014 and will likely seize the starting job in Syracuse before making his way to the Lightning.
Drafted: 2011, first round (12th overall)
DOB: March 31, 1993 (20 years ago)
Height: 5'11'' Weight: 176 lbs
Scouting Report: A beast when it comes to quarterbacking the power play, Ryan Murphy is still putting all the pieces of his overall game together. He has the offensive flair needed to develop into a top-four defenseman for the Carolina Hurricanes, but further development in his own end is needed.
Expected Impact: If Murphy finds more of a commitment to the defensive side of things, there's nothing stopping him from becoming an impact player for the 'Canes.
Drafted: 2009, second round (60th overall)
DOB: December 1, 1990 (22 years old)
Height: 5'11'' Weight: 176 lbs
Scouting Report: Possessing a hockey IQ and finishing touch that are both top-notch, Tomas Tatar is a threat to make something happen anytime he's within 60 feet of the net. He can find open teammates as well as finish the chances he receives, as evidenced by his play at the AHL level.
Expected Impact: Another smart, puck-possession player in the system of the Detroit Red Wings, Tatar has shown that he fits in at the NHL level without issues through a few stints with the big team.
Drafted: 2009, second round (38th overall)
DOB: October 1, 1990 (22 years ago)
Height: 6'3" Weight: 206 lbs
Scouting Report: Alex Chiasson is a strong player that is very difficult to knock off of the puck. He stickhandles well in traffic and is capable of making silky smooth passes.
Expected Impact: If fans around the NHL didn't know who Chiasson was prior to the 2012-13 season, they did after he scored five goals in his first five games with the Dallas Stars. While it isn't likely that he'll score 82-goals in a season, Chiasson has been a dangerous player at every level and appears primed to be the same thing in the NHL.
Drafted: 2009, first round (15th overall)
DOB: January 14, 1991 (22 years old)
Height: 6'2'' Weight: 185 lbs
Scouting Report: A versatile center that likes to shoot the puck, Peter Holland has really come a long way over the last 24 months or so. He's begun to put all of his skills together into a tighter, more focused package, making him a dangerous forward in the offensive zone.
Expected Impact: It remains to be seen if Holland can continue his upward trend—if he can, the Anaheim Ducks will have another strong center with good vision and a stellar shot.
Drafted: 2010, first round (20th overall)
DOB: November 27, 1991 (21 years old)
Height: 6'2'' Weight: 207 lbs
Scouting Report: Considered a touch undersized when drafted in 2010, Beau Bennett has tacked on a whopping 40 pounds since 2010, and it shows out on the ice. He likes to control the puck and protects it well along the boards, snapping off quick and tricky shots whenever the opportunity arises.
Expected Impact: Considered the heir apparent to Sidney Crosby's wing, Bennett must have been born under a lucky star. He has the shot needed to play alongside No. 87, and it's only a matter of time before he's keeping his stick on the ice around the net at the NHL level on a permanent basis.
Drafted: 2012, first round (17th overall)
DOB: November 12, 1993 (19 years old)
Height: 6'2'' Weight: 196 lbs
Scouting Report: Tomas Hertl is an extremely adaptable forward, capable of playing both center and wing and in any and all situations. His vision allows him to be an excellent passer, he has a great shot and, because of his long reach, he is able to strip opposing players of the puck.
Expected Impact: The San Jose Sharks could see some rollover in their lineup over the next few seasons, and Hertl should be able to make a spot for himself at the NHL level relatively soon. He'll be an important piece for the team moving forward because of his various skills and strengths.
Drafted: 2010, first round (19th overall)
DOB: July 17, 1992 (20 years old)
Weight: 6'6'' Weight: 220 lbs
Scouting Report: Well, Nick Bjugstad is a big center. A really big center, and he doesn't have an issue using his size to his advantage. He's a relentless forechecker and is capable of dictating the pace of games by using his body to both protect the puck and to attack the opposition.
Expected Impact: At worst, Bjugstad projects as a hard-working second-line center capable of both providing offense and shutting down top-end forwards. More likely, though, he'll continue to evolve into a top-line center who can control entire shifts with his style of play.
Drafted: 2009, first round (19th overall)
DOB: April 30, 1991 (22 years old)
Height: 6'3'' Weight: 230 lbs
Scouting Report: Chris Kreider is a strong center with a nose for the net. While he's also an accomplished scorer from the slot, he's most comfortable taking the puck to the net and digging for loose change.
Expected Impact: The New York Rangers caught a glimpse of what Kreider might eventually be capable of during the playoffs in 2012. The pressure that performance caused seemed to get to the 22-year-old, and he'll look to get back on track during the 2013-14 season.
Drafted: 2012, first round (ninth overall)
DOB: February 26, 1994 (19 years old)
Height: 6'1'' Weight: 183 lbs
Scouting Report: Jacob Trouba is an outstanding open-ice hitter who thrives on the physical aspects of the game. He's continued to add muscle to his frame but has maintained the outstanding skating stride that makes him so dangerous from the back end.
Expected Impact: This is the kind of defender who can anchor a top-pairing while playing productive minutes on special teams. The Winnipeg Jets are expecting big things from their 2012 first-rounder, and so far, Trouba hasn't let them down in his development.
Drafted: 2010, first round (11th overall)
DOB: January 9, 1992 (21 years old)
Height: 6'3'' Weight: 184 lbs
Scouting Report: Despite garnering the reputation as a goalie who can let in untimely softies, Jack Campbell is still one of the best goaltending prospects around. He competes hard and is always seeking out ways to improve his game. He's big but possesses a high level of athleticism as well.
Expected Impact: The Dallas Stars are biding their time with the 21-year-old goaltender, allowing Campbell to find his game and consistency at the AHL level. Once it all clicks, he has the skills necessary to be a terrific starter in the NHL.
Drafted: 2010, second round (38th overall)
DOB: February 3, 1992 (21 years old)
Height: 6'3'' Weight: 209 lbs
Scouting Report: Offensive-minded defensemen are all the rage in the NHL right now, and the New Jersey Devils have an outstanding one in Jon Merrill. He's capable of moving the puck up ice via tape-to-tape passes or by skating, and he is outstandingly proficient at both.
Expected Impact: Not only is Merrill an excellent skater, but he also has an awesome shot and above-average vision, making him a prime candidate to quarterback the power play for the New Jersey Devils once he reaches the NHL. He has the makings of a top-end offensive defenseman.
DOB: February 25, 1992 (21 years old)
Height: 5'11'' Weight: 180 lbs
Scouting Report: Despite never having been drafted, Michael Sgarbossa is still a superb talent coming up the pipeline for the Colorado Avalanche. He posted 44 points in 57 games in the AHL last year while playing his first pro season. He's a power forward with slick hands, and he is capable of burying loose pucks around the net.
Expected Impact: Sgarbossa has developed into a consistent point producer in the minors, only going more than three games without a tally once in 2013. His tenacity will be a welcome addition to a rebuilding Avalanche club, and he could secure a spot on the roster as soon as 2013-14.
Drafted: 2011, first round (19th round)
DOB: July 20, 1990 (19 years old)
Height: 6'3'' Weight: 201 lbs
Scouting Report: When the Edmonton Oilers selected Oscar Klefbom in 2011, they knew they were getting a raw prospect. The project is coming along nicely, as the young and speedy offensive defenseman has spent a lot of time working on the finer points of his defensive game since being drafted.
Expected Impact: The Oilers have plenty to be enthusiastic about when it comes to Klefbom. He's quick on his feet for a 200-pound guy, and he is right on track to become a difference-making player on the blue line for Edmonton in due time.
Drafted: 2011, fourth round (104th overall)
DOB: August 13, 1993 (19 years old)
Height: 5'7'' Weight: 150 lbs
Scouting Report: After back-to-back 21-goal seasons for Boston College and an incredible WJC tourney, it's apparent that a lack of size isn't going to prevent John Gaudreau from being a contributor anytime soon. He's an explosive and shifty centerman who knows how to make bigger players miss.
Expected Impact: The Calgary Flames are officially all-in on their rebuild, and talents such as Gaudreau will be important to the franchise moving forward. He'll have every chance to be a big part of the offense once he finally makes it to the NHL level.
Drafted: 2013, first round (fifth overall)
DOB: December 2, 1994 (18 years old)
Height: 5'11'' Weight: 183 lbs
Scouting Report: Elias Lindholm is a prime example of the kind of player the Swedish school of hockey can produce. He's outstanding in all three zones, is a dog on the puck and never, ever quits on plays.
Expected Impact: This is a high-quality 200-foot player who can impact the game even when he doesn't have the puck on his stick. He'll be an outstanding complement to the players who are already playing for the Carolina Hurricanes once he reaches the NHL.
Drafted: 2012, first round (fourth overall)
DOB: January 24, 1994 (19 years old)
Height: 6'4'' Weight: 202 lbs
Scouting Report: One of the best defensive prospects in all of hockey, Griffin Reinhart is above average in just about every conceivable way. While no area of his game immediately jumps out at you, he isn't prone to making mistakes and is a sound player in both the offensive and defensive zones.
Expected Impact: Reinhart wasn't taken with the fourth overall selection to take a backseat to anyone, and once he reaches the NHL, it's likely he'll be the No. 1 defenseman for the New York Islanders.
Drafted: 2010, first round (13th overall)
DOB: February 18, 1992 (21 years old)
Height: 6'2'' Weight: 190 lbs
Scouting Report: At one point, Brandon Gormley was considered an excellent two-way defenseman. While that hasn't changed, he's seemingly found his offensive game, and his play has really taken off on the power play.
Expected Impact: The Phoenix Coyotes have taken their time in developing Gormley, and he's continued to respond by elevating his game every season. The 21-year-old is close to becoming a full-time NHLer, at which point he'll become an important player for the Desert Dogs.
Drafted: 2012, first round (seventh overall)
DOB: July 25, 1994 (18 years old)
Height: 6'0'' Weight: 183 lbs
Scouting Report: Matthew Dumba was a prolific point-producing defenseman through all four seasons in the WHL with the Red Deer Rebels, skating the puck into high-percentage areas and landing big hits along the way. He's been described as "electric" by several scouts, and he is another weapon in the arsenal for the budding Minnesota Wild.
Expected Impact: The Wild are a very different team now than they were when they drafted Dumba. Jonas Brodin emerged as a rock-solid NHL defenseman in 2013, and this 18-year-old figures to be next in line for Minnesota.
Drafted: 2008, second round (34th overall)
DOB: August 7, 1990 (22 years old)
Height: 6'2'' Weight: 190 lbs
Scouting Report: The St. Louis Blues love Jake Allen, and after his 2013 NHL debut, it's easy to see why. His lateral movement is outstanding and allows him to make difficult saves, while his mental toughness is unquestioned. A plus to Allen's game is his excellent puck-moving ability.
Expected Impact: Allen was so outstanding in 2013 that he maintained the role as starter even when both Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott were back and healthy. That's the future for the athletic netminder in St. Louis: starting goalie. Not a matter of if, but when.
Drafted: 2012, first round (12th overall)
DOB: May 16, 1994 (19 years old)
Height: 6'3'' Weight: 200 lbs
Scouting Report: Despite clearly being rushed to the NHL by the Buffalo Sabres, Mikhail Grigorenko is still one of the better center prospects around the NHL. He's very patient with the puck and uses his frame to protect it while teammates scramble for space and time.
Expected Impact: Grigorenko projects as a top-two center for the Sabres once he's rounded out his game a bit more. He was still adjusting to the North American game in 2013, and it showed during his time in Buffalo.
Drafted: 2013, first round (sixth overall)
DOB: October 12, 1994 (18 years old)
Height: 6'2'' Weight: 187 lbs
Scouting Report: Known as a north-south player, Sean Monahan displays a knack for making the most out of high-percentage plays. There's nothing flashy about his game outside of the result. He's an intense competitor and an outstanding leader.
Expected Impact: Monahan was the focus of the opposition over the past two years, as he played on a weak Ottawa 67's team. He thrived under the pressure and seemed to relish the chance to be "the man" for Ottawa.
Drafted: 2010, second round (47th overall)
DOB: April 24, 1992 (21 years old)
Height: 6'1'' Weight: 187 lbs
Scouting Report: Questions about Tyler Toffoli's ability to score at the pro-level are beginning to be put to rest. He was effective during is first year in the AHL, posting 28 goals in 58 games before seeing some action with the L.A. Kings.
Expected Impact: If he can continue to work out the kinks in his skating, Toffoli has enough goal-scoring clout at this point to perhaps earn a shot at a top-six forward with the Kings moving forward.
Drafted: 2013, first round (10th overall)
DOB: March 4, 1995 (18 years old)
Height: 6'3'' Weight: 200 lbs
Scouting Report: Some scouts wholeheartedly believe that Valeri Nichushkin will be the most prolific player taken in the 2013 draft. He plays a power game and is already built like a man despite only being 18. Nichushkin is tough to stop when he hits his top gear, and he has no issues taking the puck to the dirty areas to score.
Expected Impact: Nichushkin projects as a top-line scoring threat. He's viewed as enigmatic, but that perception isn't based in reality at all. He's a consistent scorer and will be a dangerous player in the NHL soon.
Drafted: 2010, first round (fifth overall)
DOB: September 8, 1992 (20 years old)
Height: 6'2'' Weight: 205 lbs
Scouting Report: Nino Niederreiter has had a spot on lists like this for three years now, and nothing has happened to change the fact that he's one of the best offensive prospects around. While there's work to be done on his defensive game, he scored 50 points in 74 games played in the AHL in 2013 and nearly finished on the plus-side of the ledger for the first time since turning pro.
Expected Impact: The Minnesota Wild are an exciting team that has Stanley Cup aspirations. In dealing Cal Clutterbuck for Niederreiter, they swap out a heavy hitter for a top-notch offensive threat.
Drafted: 2013, first round (second overall)
DOB: September 2, 1995 (17 years old)
Height: 6'2'' Weight: 194 lbs
Scouting Report: Breaking into one of the better pro hockey leagues as a 16-year-old was only the beginning of the road for Aleksander Barkov. He's considered an electric playmaker and a hard-working forward when he doesn't have the puck on his stick.
Expected Impact: Barkov has all the tools necessary to be one of the top players in the NHL for years to come. He's smart and hard working, and he will be an outstanding No. 1 center once he settles in alongside forwards like Jonathan Huberdeau and the aforementioned Nick Bjugstad.
Drafted: 2012, first round (second overall)
DOB: September 27, 1993 (19 years old)
Height: 6'0'' Weight: 185 lbs
Scouting Report: Ryan Murray was the most NHL-ready prospect in the 2012 draft and would likely be a regular had a shoulder injury not derailed his 2013 season. Despite the setback, he's still a defenseman who drips with intangibles and has no real holes in his game. He can contribute in the offensive zone but is a rock in his own zone.
Expected Impact: The Columbus Blue Jackets didn't draft Murray to be an electric offensive force—they already have Jack Johnson and James Wisniewski to fill that role. Instead, they need him to be an anchor, and that's exactly what he'll be once he makes his NHL debut in 2014.
Drafted: 2012, first round (11th overall)
DOB: August 13, 1994 (18 years old)
Height: 6'1'' Weight: 186 lbs
Scouting Report: Filip Forsberg is a very smart player who can get the job done in all three zones. A stellar passer, he also possesses enough finish to be a threat in the offensive zone regardless of the situation.
Expected Impact: The Nashville Predators needed to score more goals in 2013, and while the addition of Forsberg didn't immediately pay dividends (no one expected it to), it will moving forward. He's the best prospect in Nashville's system at this point and figures to be a huge part of the franchise as time moves on.
Drafted: 2013, first round (third overall)
DOB: March 28, 1995 (18 years old)
Height: 5'11'' Weight: 186 lbs
Scouting Report: It's hard to think of a more prolific and exciting prospect than Jonathan Drouin. Over the past 18 months, he's grown from midget player to top prospect, and that development is no accident. Drouin doesn't have any deficiencies in the offensive zone, and he can pass as well as he can finish.
Expected Impact: The kind of player that brings fans out to games, Drouin is the kind of guy you can build a top-six around. His talent is phenomenal, and special things tend to happen when he has the puck entering the offensive zone. Steven Stamkos and Drouin? Good luck stopping that combination.
Drafted: 2012, first round (fifth overall)
DOB: March 9, 1994 (19 years old)
Height: 6'0'' Weight: 205 lbs
Scouting Report: Few defensive prospects approach the NHL with such an outstanding tool bag at their disposal. Morgan Rielly is arguably the best offensive defenseman not in the NHL right now: He skates remarkably well, has a great shot and can rush the puck like no other prospect.
Expected Impact: Once Rielly makes it to the NHL, his calling card isn't likely to be his defense. Still, he has the makings of an outstanding power-play quarterback and could evolve into a player who can change the flow of a game from the blue line.
Drafted: 2011, first round (seventh overall)
DOB: March 15, 1993 (20 years old)
Height: 6'2'' Weight: 184 lbs
Scouting Report: The first draft pick for this new incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets, Mark Scheifele is a player who possesses everything a team could want out of a center: His speed is above average, his decision-making is stellar and he learned to make the most out of broken plays while skating on one of the worst teams in the OHL over the past three seasons.
Expected Impact: The Jets have been patient with Scheifele, and 2014 could be the year that it finally pays off. He projects as a top-line center and could be a difference-maker as soon as he hits NHL ice.
Drafted: 2013, first round (fourth overall)
DOB: October 3, 1994 (18 years old)
Height: 6'4'' Weight: 205 lbs
Scouting Report: Like Ryan Murray before him, Seth Jones is an NHL-ready defender with few (if any) real weaknesses in his game at this point. He's sound in both offensive and defensive roles and has been a pillar of strength and leadership on every team he's played for.
Expected Impact: Jones is a strong two-way defenseman who can affect the outcome of games in many ways. Regardless of what zone he's in, he's a difference-maker and figured to be the same once he arrives in the NHL. He joins a defense-first team in the Nashville Predators and could end up on a sick pairing with Shea Weber as soon as 2013-14.
Drafted: 2011, first round (fifth overall)
DOB: July 11, 1993 (19 years old)
Height: 6'1'' Weight: 183 lbs
Scouting Report: Referred to as the Unnatural occasionally, Ryan Strome possesses elite-level hockey smarts and has the ability to make something out of nothing on a nightly basis. He makes the players around him better and can finish often enough on his own to force defenders to respect the shoot option as well as the pass.
Expected Impact: The idea of Strome and John Tavares skating around together in their primes should have teams in the Eastern Conference concerned. This is a special player who can make awesome things happen on offense.
Drafted: 2013, first round (first overall)
DOB: September 1, 1995 (17 years old)
Height: 6'0'' Weight: 182 lbs
Scouting Report: Few prospects in recent memory have generated the buzz that Nathan MacKinnon has. His most impressive weapon is his speed, which some scouts say is on a Pavel Bure-level. His compete level is off the charts, and his killer instinct is unparalleled among prospects not currently in the NHL.
Expected Impact: This is a guy you draft to be a game-breaker for the next 10-plus years. MacKinnon will likely end up competing for Hart Trophies and scoring titles—he's just that good. The Colorado Avalanche didn't need another center, but they just couldn't pass on this potentially generational talent.
Drafted: 2010, first round (26th overall)
DOB: May 19, 1992 (21 years old)
Height: 6'0'' Weight: 172 lbs
Scouting Report: Since 2010, the enigma known as Evgeny Kuznetsov has topped lists such as this one. His fierce desire to control the flow of play is evident when you watch him play—he'll skate into traffic and dig out loose pucks in just about any situation if it will create even a small scoring chance.
Expected Impact: Whenever he arrives in the NHL, Kuznetsov will likely be a top-six forward with a bright spotlight shining on him at all times. Three years of hype will do that, but he's already a rock star in Russia. Put this guy on the same ice surface as Alexander Ovechkin and duck.