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.