May 16, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson (36) makes a save against Los Angeles Kings center Tyler Toffoli (73) during the first period in game seven of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

J.A.’s Top 50 NHL Prospects List


There are many prospects rankings for MLB prospects, and I think it is time for me to compile a list of my top 50 NHL prospects. I am not a professional scout, but I do watch many junior games and follow the progress of recently drafted NHL players. In this ranking, the definition of a prospect is a player who has already been drafted in the NHL and will be eligible for the Calder Trophy next season for the league’s best rookie. Whether they make the team next season or not, I try to base this ranking on how good they can become in the future instead of how good they are now. Enjoy!

1. Jonathan Drouin, LW, Tampa Bay Lightning

Despite surprisingly not making the Lightning last season, Drouin is determined to show off his stuff in training camp. Not only does he have the best puck-handling skills on this list, but he also creates plays, is fast, and beats opponents in the neutral zone. He is the 2014-15 Calder Trophy favourite in my opinion.

2. Aaron Ekblad, D, Florida Panthers

The #1 pick in this year’s draft says he is ready for the NHL next season. He is such a great all-around defenseman that is great both on the powerplay and the penalty kill. He is such a valuable asset to any team and will likely win a Norris Trophy in his career.

3. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, Washington Capitals

The long wait for this young Russian star finally ended last season when he played some of the final 17 games for the Caps. It may have been too quick of a move for the extremely talented forward, but he looks to be a top-scoring threat with fellow Russian Alex Ovechkin in the not-so-distant future. In my opinion, he will be the top-scoring rookie next season

4. Sam Bennett, C, Calgary Flames

Dropping a couple spots in any draft should not taken seriously, it should actually motivate a player to do better. I think Bennett is underrated and will hope to be a top line center for the Flames for a while.

5. Sam Reinhart, C, Buffalo Sabres

The other Sam in the draft will fit into the Sabres lineup easily, He scores a ton of points and has a lot of international experience already.

6. Andrei Vasilevsky, G, Tampa Bay Lightning

He was the starting goalie for a KHL team as a 19-year-old and put up incredible numbers. Has huge potential and could be the next unstoppable goalie.

7. John Gibson, G, Anaheim Ducks

Many argue that the reason why the Ducks didn’t re-sign Jonas Hiller was to make way for the highly-coveted John Gibson. No one will forget his performance in the World Junior Championships.

8. Rasmus Ristolainen, D, Buffalo Sabres

The Finnish star defenceman helped his country win the recent World Junior Championships and is arguably one of the best defensive prospects in the world.

9. Griffin Reinhart, D, New York Islanders

The fourth overall pick in 2012 is a big, but mobile defenseman that will likely make the Islanders roster this season.

10. Leon Draisaitl, C, Edmonton Oilers

He is exactly what the Oilers needed, a strong forward to complament the fast snipers like Nail Yakupov and Taylor Hall.

11. Filip Forsberg, LW, Nashville Predators

12. Derrick Pouliot, D, Pittsburgh Penguins

13. Teuvo Teravainen, C, Chicago Blackhawks

14. Anthony Mantha, RW, Detroit Red Wings

15. Nikita Zadorov, D, Buffalo Sabres

16. Michael Dal Colle, C/LW, New York Islanders

17. Mikhail Grigorenko, C, Buffalo Sabres

18. William Nylander, C, Toronto Maple Leafs

19. Darnell Nurse, D, Edmonton Oilers

20. Bo Horvat, C, Vancouver Canucks

21. Jake Virtanen, C, Vancouver Canucks

22. Nick Ritchie, C, Carolina Hurricanes

23. Curtis Lazar, C, Ottawa Senators

24. Brandon Gormley, D, Arizona Coyotes

25. Calle Jarnkrok, C, Nashville Predators

26. Matt Dumba, D, Minnesota Wild

27. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, Winnipeg Jets

28. Ryan Murphy, D, Carolina Hurricanes

29. Connor Brown, RW, Toronto Maple Leafs

30. Josh Morrisey, D, Winnipeg Jets

31. Malcolm Subban, G, Boston Bruins

32. Haydn Fleury, D, Philadelphia Flyers

33. Kevin Fiala, RW, Nashville Predators

34. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Calgary Flames

35. Nathan Beaulieu, D, Montreal Canadiens

36. Max Domi, C, Arizona Coyotes

37. Ryan Pulock, D, New York Islanders

38. Henrik Samuelsson, RW, Arizona Coyotes

39. Andre Burakovsky, LW, Washington Capitals

40. Dylan Larkin, C, Detroit Red Wings

41. Brendan Perlini, LW, Arizona Coyotes

42. Vladislav Namestnikov, C, Tampa Bay Lightning

43. Xavier Ouellet, D, Detroit Red Wings

44. Joel Armia, LW, Buffalo Sabres

45. Julius Honka, D, Dallas Stars

46. Kasperi Kapanen, C, Pittsburgh Penguins

47. Damon Severson, D, New Jersey Devils

48. Alexander Khokhlachev, C, Boston Bruins

49. Jared McCann, C, Vancouver Canucks

50. Brett Ritchie, RW, Dallas Stars

Tags: Featured NHL Popular Prospects

  • AWally

    I don’t know much about hockey prospects but how is the penguins Derrick Pouliout in the top 3 on Bleacher Report for NHL prospects and he isn’t even in the top 50 here

    • Tom

      There is a lot of prospects missing on both sides

      • J.A.

        This list is only my opinion, but if what prospects in particular do you think I missed?

    • J.A.

      My apologies I forgot to include Pouliot, but I updated the list.
      Thanks

  • Tom

    Is this most upside or is it most NHL ready?

    • J.A.

      This list ranks players based on their NHL upside in their career.

      • Tom

        Then I didn’t mean my comment of “There is a lot of prospects missing on both sides” because I thought you were going for most NHL ready and I mean it’s tough to tell now but once the pro camps start then we’ll have a better idea too but there are a couple spots open on the Canadiens for wingers anyways and because of that I was thinking at the time along the lines of making it into nhl next/this year