While signing free agents, adding the proper pieces and coming out on the right end of trades can help bolster an NHL team, nothing is more important than drafting these days. Whether a squad is looking for a future No. 1 goaltender, or a guy who could play No. 2 center within the next three years, franchises that are able to scout and draft well are able to fill those kinds of holes from within.
All of the model franchises around the NHL have built from the draft since the implantation of the salary cap, and there are several other squads that have built up an embarrassing amount of riches up front by drafting high-quality offensive minded players.
Worth noting is that this is just an examination of the farm systems and youth on NHL rosters. It's not a power ranking. Also, to be considered a prospect, a player can not have played more than 65 games at the NHL level.
All statistics appear courtesy of HockeyDB.com.