As we pass the quarter mark of this 2011-2012 NHL campaign, there's surely been many surprises, such as the young guns in Edmonton leading the charge.
The Oilers have slipped off from the hot start that saw them top the Northwest Division, but let's face it—most people likely didn't pick them to make the playoffs this season. There's obviously still plenty of hockey to be played, but if the Oilers don't qualify this year, not many will be disappointed, even after a hot start.
Along with Oil Country, there are some more rebuilding franchises on the rise, as well as currently dominant clubs that will continue to flourish the next five years while others may drop off.
It's always tricky to say what will happen considering salary cap issues and whether or not management addresses the teams' needs.
However, here are my 10 NHL teams that will be among the league's best in five years.