Monday's NHL trade deadline and the days leading up to it saw teams with Stanley Cup ambitions load up for playoff runs, and that (rightly) is where most of the media focus has gone. However, it also saw sellers add draft picks and prospects in the hopes of being better in the future, which is what we're focused on today.
In this slideshow, we consider the additions and subtractions from each team's prospect system, players such as Conner Bleackley (above), who was dealt from the Colorado Avalanche to the Arizona Coyotes. We provide a spotlight on each team's top prospect and a necessarily brief general overview of each club's pipeline and ranked the teams based on the overall strength of their prospect groups.
What makes a prospect? For our purposes, a prospect is any player eligible for the NHL's Calder Trophy this year who is not an established NHLer. For example, the Detroit Red Wings' Dylan Larkin is eligible for the Calder, but there's no question as to which league he should be playing in now and for the next 15 years.
It's important to remember teams with good young players in the NHL will be penalized under this system, as their young players are not considered part of the prospect pool. Additionally, bad teams with high picks tend to do better than longtime contenders just because they have higher-end talent waiting in the wings.
Read on for our ranking of all 30 NHL prospect pools.