With the NHL season around the corner, teams are evaluating what they have from a prospect standpoint. Here's a look at each Atlantic Division team's prospect pool heading into the 2018-19 NHL season, including the top players in the system.
Some ground rules:
• Players listed as "A" prospects project more comfortably into impact roles -- that is, players who will fit into top scoring lines or top-four defenses and goalies with starter potential. "B" prospects are players who project comfortably as everyday NHL players but don't project as comfortably to make a big impact. That's not to say the B prospects can't develop into larger roles in the future; it's just what I see for them for right now.
• Players not listed simply didn't meet the very high threshold set by the A and B parameters. That doesn't mean I don't think they'll make it or that they can't develop into better prospects. I just set a high bar for the players included in this section.
• Players are considered prospects until they've lost rookie status (using the Calder Trophy eligibility threshold).
• I also have listed one prospect for each team who I think is most likely to help the NHL roster this season, along with one "breakout prospect" who I think could take the biggest step forward this season in his development.
Let's dive into the Atlantic Division.
The Bruins have been building a solid prospect pool over the years despite rapid graduations of top picks like David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy. Donato has already shown an ability to make a rather immediate impact after wrapping up a decorated college career at Harvard. The team has also seen developmental growth from Frederic, who signed after two years at Wisconsin, and Studnicka, whose speed at right wing has made him an effective junior scorer.