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.
Unfortunately, not every NHL team can count on their AHL club to help them win games in the near future. 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 worst.
5. Ottawa Senators
Top prospects: Thomas Chabot and Logan Brown.
Main weakness: goaltending
4. Montreal Canadiens
Top prospects: Charles Hudon and Micheal McCarron.
Main weakness: offensive forwards
3. Chicago Blackhawks
Top prospect: Alex DeBrincat
Main Weakness: blueliners and goalenders.
2. Pittsburgh Penguins
Top prospect: Daniel Sprong
Main Weakness: blueliners
1. San Jose Sharks
Top prospect: Timo Meier
Main Weakness: All positions