For all NHL teams, drafting well and developing prospects properly is a crucial component in having perennial success. For proof just look to the NHL's model franchise, the back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens were able to capture Lord Stanley twice in a row due mainly to the help they were able to get coming from their farm club. Players like Jake Guentzel, Conor Sheary and Bryan Rust stepped directly into the lineup from the team's AHL affiliate and played key roles for the Pens in both Stanley Cup victories.
A few teams have the potential to imitate the Penguins as they too have some serious prospects coming up to help their NHL squads. Brett Slawson of The Hockey Writers takes a close look at each team's farm club and breaks down the very best and worst in his latest article. Just for kicks, take a quick look at the five teams he considers to be the absolute best.
5. Arizona Coyotes
Most valuable prospect: Dylan Strome, 20-year-old center. 75 points in 35 OHL games last season.
Other good prospects: Clayton Keller, Conor Garland, Christian Dvorak, Pierre-Olivier Joseph.
4. Winnipeg Jets
Most valuable prospect: Jack Roslovic, 20-year-old center. 13 goals and 48 points in 65 points last season in the AHL.
Other good prospects: Eric Comrie, Marko Dano, Nicolas Petan, Sami Niku, Logan Stanley, Kristian Vesalainen.
3. Carolina Hurricanes
Most valuable prospect: Jake Bean, 19 year-old defensemen. 45 points in 43 WHL games last season.
Other good prospects: Alex Nedeljkovic, Daniel Altshuller, Callum Booth, Jeremy Helvig, Valentin Zykov, Brock McGinn, Sergey Tolchinsky, Nicolas Roy, Julien Gauthier.
2. Tampa Bay Lightning
Most valuable prospect: Mikhail Sergachev, 19-year-old defenseman. 43 points in 50 OHL games last season.
Other good prospects: Brett Howden, Taylor Raddysh, Adam Erne, Anthony Cirelli, Mitchell Stephens, Slater Koekkoek, Erik Cernak, Dominik Masin, Libor Hajek, Boris Katchouk, Callan Foote, Alexei Lipanov.
1. Philadelphia Flyers
Most valuable prospect: Nolan Patrick, 18-year-old center. 46 points in 33 WHL games.
Other good prospects: Travis Sanheim, Samuel Morin, Anthony Stolarz, Taylor Leier, German Rubstov, Pascal Laberge, Oskar Lindblom, Phillipe Myers, Jordan Weal, Wade Allison,Robert Hagg, Carter Hart Morgan Frost, Isaac Ratcliffe.