Not since the 2005-06 season has the NHL braced itself for such a large influx of young, talented players. 2013 draftees such as Nathan MacKinnon and Seth Jones are set to make their impacts, while the likes of Ryan Strome and Tyler Toffoli could finally make their long-awaited debuts as full-time NHL players.
A lot of the top prospects in hockey will be pouring into the league this year as the salary cap dips, forcing teams to use cheaper options throughout their lineups.
One outstanding way to save money is to burn a year off of a young player's entry-level deal. Why pay a No. 2 center $3 million when you could get away with paying him less than $1 million by recruiting from within?
While there are a few top prospects that could be sent back to the AHL or juniors for more seasoning, expect top prospect lists to look very different by this time next year after multiple graduations to the NHL.
All statistics, including heights and weights, appear courtesy of Hockeydb.com.