With the NHL season around the corner, NHL teams are evaluating what they have from a prospect standpoint. Here's a look at each Metropolitan Division team's prospect pool heading into the 2018-19 NHL season, including the top players in each 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 roll through the Metropolitan teams.
With one of the more exciting prospect pools in the NHL right now, the Hurricanes could start seeing an impact from some of these players out of the gates. They have one of the best prospects in the game right now in Svechnikov, the 2018 No. 2 pick. He provides immediate scoring help to the NHL roster and might be one of the biggest impact rookies of the 2018-19 season. The team picked up top prospect Fox in the trade that also netted them Dougie Hamilton. Fox is a high-end offensive defenseman whose game has taken off in a major way the past two seasons.