With all of the glitz and glamour that surrounds the NHL Draft in the modern era, it is often tough to remember that most of the prospects being drafted take a significant amount of time to develop into NHL contributors.
Each preseason, fans get a taste of what's to come. NHL teams all insert their rookies into the lineup to give them valuable experience and get an idea of how much they have progressed.
Teams also have the luxury of playing some of these young kids for the early portion of the regular season before sending them back down to juniors or the AHL. As long as a player does not play in a certain number of games, he will still be deemed a rookie at the start of the next season.
Without further ado, here are some of the top prospects that have been given a test run in preseason or early in the 2011-2012 NHL regular season.