Top 100 NHL Affiliated Prospects – May
Playoff performance pushes Bennett to the top.
After a stellar playoff run with the Calgary Flames, Sam Bennett has taken over as the #1 NHL Affiliated Prospect. Despite only appearing in 1 regular season game, the Flames thought enough of Bennett to not only have him be a big part of their playoff run but also to burn a year off his Entry-Level Contract in order to keep him on the roster. And boy did he ever make the most of it. Despite having off-season shoulder surgery that sidelined him all year, Bennett was always in the Flames plans as he was seen as potentially making the Flames opening day roster had it not been for the injury. It would appear as though the surgery did nothing but delay Bennett’s rise up the ranks as he will no doubt be holding onto his roster spot for the next decade and more, a true offensive star in the making.
Battling for the #1 goalie prospect for a 3rd consecutive year are goaltenders Andrei Vasilevskiy and John Gibson.
Vasilevskiy started his first pro season in North America as the starting goaltender for the Syracuse Crunch. At around mid-season the Tampa Bay Lightning brought up their star goalie prospect due to an injury to Ben Bishop but due to Vasilevskiy’s play Tampa decided to keep him up full time as their backup and release Evgeny Nabokov. There were times towards the end of the season when it appeared as though Vasilevskiy might soon surpass Bishop. Although that didn’t last long, Vasilevksiy is no doubt right on Bishop’s heels and will be so for the foreseeable future.
Gibson on the other hand started the year as Anaheim’s #1, yet because he was on a short leash he was ultimately sent down to the AHL where he eventually steadied himself and found his game. Like Vasilevskiy, he was called up at around mid-season where he also remained the backup for the remainder of the season. What was once deemed as being a very small gap between Frederik Andersen and Gibson has now grown to the point where it may take a few years for Gibson to take control of the Ducks crease as Andersen has been incredible this post season. Due to their respective seasons and the goalie situations of their current teams, I have given the ever so slight edge to Vasilevskiy. Both are Top 10 prospects.
In the top 20 there are 5 players who played a good portion of their season in the NHL with a varied range of success for each player.
Oilers top prospect Leon Drasaitl was, to so the surprise of some, kept up at the beginning of the season and although he was not awful, he clearly was not ready for the big leagues yet. Thankfully the Oilers finally sent him down to where he had a great 2nd half of the season with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets. Despite the early season struggles he still proved that he is an elite prospect and a 1st line center in the making, be it with the Oilers or not.
Bruins top prospect David Pastrnak on the other hand had no such struggles in the NHL as once he completed a dominant World Juniors for the Czechs he was called up by the Bruins for the remainder of the season and was a huge part of their playoff push. Playing mostly 1st line he never looked out of place which is amazing considering he was the 25th overall pick as well as being the youngest player in the NHL. A guy who was maybe considered a top 50 prospect at the start of the season has now vaulted into the top 10 thanks to his outstanding season in both the AHL and NHL.
Hawks top Prospect Teuvo Teravainen, a 1st round pick in 2012, finally came over to North America this season to mixed results. Due to the Hawks incredible depth he was mostly playing out of position as a bottom six forward. Then due to the injury of star forward Patrick Kane, Teravainen got a chance at more playing time and did pretty well for the most part. Sure he’s small and not an overly great skater but his pure offensive skills remind some of #88 himself. A big reason for his high ranking.
Derrick Pouliot, the Pens #1 prospect had a very good1st pro season. Not expected to be a part of the NHL squad this season he was forced into play thanks to the plethora of injuries sustained by the Pens D core. He sure made the most of it as he was easily their second most talented offensive-defenseman and skater behind Kris Letang. Both those skills were much needed as the Pens lacked any offense from the blue-line beyond those two. A key part of their defense down the stretch, the Pens badly missed him in the playoffs after he sustained an injury at the end of the season. A great 1st pro season for the 2012 1st rounder.
Arguably the most impactful prospect on this list outside of Pastrnak, Andre Burakovsky had an outstanding season for the Capitals this year. The 2013 1st rounder was thought by most to be returning to Erie this season but surprisingly made the Caps roster and held onto his spot in the lineup for the better part of the year, something that’s not easy to do for a 19-year-old in a Barry Trotz system. Showing a great two-way game as well as solid scoring he made the most of his opportunity. The best of the bunch in a great Capitals prospect pool.
NHL 2014 Entry Draft Picks
Early 2014 1st round picks such as Nikolaj Ehlers, Kevin Fiala, William Nylander and Michael Dal Colle all crack the top 20 as they had great respective seasons in be it the CHL or Overseas. Ehlers and Dal Colle both dominated their respective CHL leagues, during the regular season as well as in the playoffs. Nylander and Fiala had great seasons in Europe and continued it once they came over to play in the AHL.
Some of the biggest risers in the top 100 are guys like Dylan Larkin, Matt Murray, Anthony Duclair, Damon Severson and Christian Dvorak who all had outstanding seasons wherever they played and really showed that extra gear that their respective teams were maybe not expecting this soon.
Some of the biggest fallers are those who failed to match expectations this year with disapointing seasons, guys like Griffin Reinhart, Haydn Fleury, Zach Fucale, Valentin Zykov and Ryan Sproul. These players had either mediocre seasons where there was little to no progression or regressed to the point of barely keeping their spot on this list.
Here is my list of the Top 100 NHL Affiliated Prospects. Arizona, Detroit and Montreal lead all teams with 6 prospects a piece. Columbus, Pittsburgh and Winnipeg are next in line with 5 each. Unfortunately for them, Carolina, New Jersey and Ottawa are last on the list with only 1 prospect each. In terms of positions there are 59 forwards, 29 defensemen and 12 goalies on the list. This list is led by thirty-two 2014 Draft Picks which includes an incredible 27 First Rounders. The 2013 Draft comes in second with 29 Draft Picks (13 First Rounders), the 2012 Draft places third with 23 Draft Picks (9 First Rounders), the 2011 Draft then has 10 Draft Picks (only 1 First Rounder) and lastly the 2010 Draft has 6 Draft Picks (1 First Rounder as well).
|Rank||Player||Team||# of NHL Games Played||Position Rank||When They Were Drafted|
|01||Sam Bennett||Calgary Flames||01 GP||Center #01||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (04th Overall)|
|02||Sam Reinhart||Buffalo Sabres||09 GP||Center #02||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (02nd Overall)|
|03||Andrei Vasilevskiy||Tampa Bay Lightning||16 GP||Goalie #01||2012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (19th Overall)|
|04||Leon Drasaitl||Edmonton Oilers||37 GP||Center #03||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (03rd Overall)|
|05||Nikolaj Ehlers||Winnipeg Jets||0 GP||Center #04||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (09th Overall)|
|06||John Gibson||Anaheim Ducks||26 GP||Goalie #02||2011 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (39th Overall)|
|07||David Pastrnak||Boston Bruins||46 GP||Right Wing #01||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (25th Overall)|
|08||Darnell Nurse||Edmonton Oilers||02 GP||Defenceman #01||2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (07th Overall)|
|09||William Nylander||Toronto Maple Leafs||0 GP||Center #05||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (08th Overall)|
|10||Michael Dal Colle||New York Islanders||0 GP||Center #06||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (05th Overall)|
|11||Kevin Fiala||Nashville Predators||01 GP||Left Wing #01||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (11th Overall)|
|12||Teuvo Teravainen||Chicago Blackhawks||37 GP||Center #07||2012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (18th Overall)|
|13||Derrick Pouliot||Pittsburgh Penguins||34 GP||Defenceman #02||2012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (08th Overall)|
|14||Andre Burakovsky||Washington Capitals||53 GP||Left Wing #02||2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (23rd Overall)|
|15||Anthony Mantha||Detroit Red Wings||0 GP||Right Wing #02||2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (20th Overall)|
|16||Shea Theodore||Anaheim Ducks||0 GP||Defenceman #03||2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (26th Overall)|
|17||Max Domi||Arizona Coyotes||0 GP||Center #08||2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (12th Overall)|
|18||Dylan Larkin||Detroit Red Wings||0 GP||Center #09||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (15th Overall)|
|19||Josh Morrissey||Winnipeg Jets||0 GP||Defenceman #04||2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (13th Overall)|
|20||Anthony DeAngelo||Tampa Bay Lighhting||0 GP||Defenceman #05||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (19th Overall)|
|21||Damon Severson||New Jersey Devils||51 GP||Defenceman #06||2012 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (60th Overall)|
|22||Petr Mrazek||Detroit Red Wings||40 GP||Goalie #03||2010 NHL Draft - 5th Round (141st Overall)|
|23||Jakub Vrana||Washington Capitals||0 GP||Left Wing #03||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (13th Overall)|
|24||Julius Honka||Dallas Stars||0 GP||Defenceman #07||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (14th Overall)|
|25||Travis Sanheim||Philadelphia Flyers||0 GP||Defenceman #08||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (17th Overall)|
|26||Marko Dano||Columbus Blue Jackets||35 GP||Center #10||2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (27th Overall)|
|27||Ryan Pulock||New York Islanders||0 GP||Defenceman #09||2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (15th Overall)|
|28||Oliver Bjorkstrand||Columbus Blue Jackets||0 GP||Right Wing #03||2013 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (89th Overall)|
|29||Anthony Duclair||Arizona Coyotes||18 GP||Left Wing #04||2013 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (80th Overall)|
|30||Jake Virtanen||Vancouver Canucks||0 GP||Right Wing #04||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (06th Overall)|
|31||Nick Ritchie||Anaheim Ducks||0 GP||Left Wing #05||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (10th Overall)|
|32||Robby Fabbri||St. Louis Blues||0 GP||Center #11||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (21st Overall)|
|33||Pavel Buchnevich||New York Rangers||0 GP||Left Wing #06||2013 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (75th Overall)|
|34||Madison Bowey||Washington Capitals||0 GP||Defenceman #10||2013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (53rd Overall)|
|35||Ivan Barbashev||St. Louis Blues||0 GP||Center #12||2014 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (33rd Overall)|
|36||Griffin Reinhart||New York Islanders||08 GP||Defenceman #11||2012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (04th Overall)|
|37||Connor Hellebucyk||Winnipeg Jets||0 GP||Goalie #04||2012 NHL Draft - 5th Round (130th Overall)|
|38||Teemu Pulkinen||Detroit Red Wings||34 GP||Right Wing #05||2010 NHL Draft - 4th Round (111th Overall)|
|39||Nic Petan||Winnipeg Jets||0 GP||Center #13||2013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (43rd Overall)|
|40||Nikita Scherbak||Montreal Canadiens||0 GP||Right Wing #06||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (26th Overall)|
|41||Haydn Fleury||Carolina Hurricanes||0 GP||Defenceman #12||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (07th Overall)|
|42||Juuse Saros||Nashville Predators||0 GP||Goalie #05||2013 NHL Draft - 4th Round (99th Overall)|
|43||Sonny Milano||Columbus Blue Jackets||0 GP||Left Wing #07||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (16th Overall)|
|44||Ryan Spooner||Boston Bruins||56 GP||Center #14||2010 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (45th Overall)|
|45||Brandon Gormley||Arizona Coyotes||32 GP||Defenceman #13||2010 NHL Draft - 1st Round (13th Overall)|
|46||Alex Tuch||Minnesota Wild||0 GP||Right Wing #07||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (18th Overall)|
|47||Chris Bigras||Colorado Avalanche||0 GP||Defenceman #14||2013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (32nd Overall)|
|48||Ville Pokka||Chicago Blackhawks||0 GP||Defenceman #15||2012 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (34th Overall)|
|49||Kasperi Kapanen||Pittsburgh Penguins||0 GP||Right Wing #08||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (22nd Overall)|
|50||Vladislav Namestikov||Tampa Bay Lightning||47 GP||Center #15||2011 NHL Draft - 1st Round (27th Overall)|
|51||Brett Ritchie||Dallas Stars||31 GP||Right Wing #09||2011 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (44th Overall)|
|52||Chris Tierney||San Jose Sharks||43 GP||Center #16||2012 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (57th Overall)|
|53||Emile Poirier||Calgary Flames||06 GP||Right Wing #10||2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (22nd Overall)|
|54||Kerby Rychel||Columbus Blue Jackets||05 GP||Left Wing #08||2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (19th Overall)|
|55||Brendan Perlini||Arizona Coyotes||0 GP||Left Wing #09||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (12th Overall)|
|56||Matt Murray||Pittsburgh Penguins||0 GP||Goalie #06||2012 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (83rd Overall)|
|57||Connor Brown||Toronto Maple Leafs||0 GP||Right Wing #11||2012 NHL Draft - 6th Round (156th Overall)|
|58||Jared McCann||Vancouver Canucks||0 GP||Center #17||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (24th Overall)|
|59||Nick Schmaltz||Chicago Blackhawks||0 GP||Center #18||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (20th Overall)|
|60||Brady Skjei||New York Rangers||0 GP||Defenceman #16||2012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (28th Overall)|
|61||Jake McCabe||Buffalo Sabres||09 GP||Defenceman #17||2012 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (44th Overall)|
|62||Thatcher Demko||Vancouver Canucks||0 GP||Goalie #07||2014 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (36th Overall)|
|63||Mirco Mueller||San Jose Sharks||39 GP||Defenceman #18||2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (18th Overall)|
|64||Michael Matheson||Florida Panthers||0 GP||Defenceman #19||2012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (23rd Overall)|
|65||Samuel Morin||Philadelphia Flyers||0 GP||Defenceman #20||2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (11th Overall)|
|66||Nikolay Goldobin||San Jose Sharks||0 GP||Left Wing #10||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (27th Overall)|
|67||Malcolm Subban||Boston Bruins||01 GP||Goalie #08||2012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (24th Overall)|
|68||Jacob de la Rose||Montreal Canadiens||33 GP||Center #19||2013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (34th Overall)|
|69||Henrik Samuelsson||Arizona Coyotes||03 GP||Center #20||2012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (27th Overall)|
|70||Mike Reilly||Columbus Blue Jackets||0 GP||Defenceman #21||2011 NHL Draft - 4th Round (98th Overall)|
|71||Ian McCoshen||Florida Panthers||0 GP||Defenceman #22||2013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (31st Overall)|
|72||Christian Dvorak||Arizona Coyotes||0 GP||Center #21||2014 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (58th Overall)|
|73||Scott Laughton||Philadelphia Flyers||36 GP||Center #22||2012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (20th Overall)|
|74||Charles Hudon||Montreal Canadiens||0 GP||Center #23||2012 NHL Draft - 5th Round (122nd Overall)|
|75||Scott Harrington||Pittsburgh Penguins||10 GP||Defenceman #23||2011 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (54th Overall)|
|76||Jon Gillies||Calgary Flames||0 GP||Goalie #09||2012 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (75th Overall)|
|77||Xavier Ouellet||Detroit Red Wings||25 GP||Defenceman #24||2011 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (48th Overall)|
|78||Stephen Johns||Chicago Blackhawks||0 GP||Defenceman #25||2010 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (60th Overall)|
|79||Nick Paul||Ottawa Senators||0 GP||Center #24||2013 NHL Draft - 4th Round (101st Overall)|
|80||Jimmy Vesey||Nashville Predators||0 GP||Left Wing #11||2012 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (66th Overall)|
|81||Valentin Zykov||Los Angeles Kings||0 GP||Left Wing #12||2013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (37th Overall)|
|82||Ty Rattie||St. Louis Blues||13 GP||Right Wing #12||2011 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (32nd Overall)|
|83||Calvin Pickard||Colorado Avalanche||16 GP||Goalie #10||2010 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (49th Overall)|
|84||Adrian Kempe||Los Angeles Kings||0 GP||Left Wing #13||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (29th Overall)|
|85||Nic Kerdiles||Anaheim Ducks||0 GP||Left Wing #14||2012 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (36th Overall)|
|86||Shayne Gostisbehere||Philadelphia Flyers||02 GP||Defenceman #26||2012 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (78th Overall)|
|87||Michael McCarron||Montreal Canadiens||0 GP||Right Wing #13||2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (25th Overall)|
|88||Brayden Point||Tampa Bay Lightning||0 GP||Center #25||2014 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (79th Overall)|
|89||Oskar Sundqvist||Pittsburgh Penguins||0 GP||Center #26||2012 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (81st Overall)|
|90||Anton Slepychev||Edmonton Oilers||0 GP||Left Wing #15||2013 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (88th Overall)|
|91||Josh Ho-Sang||New York Islanders||0 GP||Center #27||2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (28th Overall)|
|92||Eric Comrie||Winnipeg Jets||0 GP||Goalie #11||2013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (59th Overall)|
|93||Riley Barber||Washington Capitals||0 GP||Right Wing #14||2012 NHL Draft - 6th Round (167th Overall)|
|94||Tyler Wotherspoon||Calgary Flames||15 GP||Defenceman #27||2011 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (57th Overall)|
|95||Martin Reway||Montreal Canadiens||0 GP||Center #28||2013 NHL Draft - 4th Round (116th Overall)|
|96||Ryan Sproul||Detroit Red Wings||0 GP||Defenceman #28||2011 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (55th Overall)|
|97||Rocco Grimaldi||Florida Panthers||07 GP||Center #29||2011 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (33rd Overall)|
|98||Gustav Olofsson||Minnesota Wild||0 GP||Defenceman #29||2013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (46th Overall)|
|99||Vladislav Kamenev||Nashville Predators||0 GP||Center #30||2014 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (42nd Overall)|
|100||Zach Fucale||Montreal Canadiens||0 GP||Goalie #12||2013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (36th Overall)|