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Wild pass Panthers, top Hockey’s Future prospect rankings

Dec 15, 2012, 10:22 PM EDT

mikaelgranlundgetty Getty Images

While the Florida Panthers’ farm system put up a good fight coming in at No. 2, Hockey’s Future placed the Minnesota Wild’s promising prospects first overall in its fall team rankings on Dec. 7.

Potential Wild stars of the future such as Mikael Granlund and Jonas Brodin made the difference in what the site called a very tight race; the Panthers had been at the top of the site’s heap for quite some time.

Hockey’s Future listed Minnesota’s strengths:

The Minnesota Wild have spent several years rebuilding their system and now boast one of the deepest, most talented group of prospects in the NHL. Leading their system is potential star Mikael Granlund. Behind Granlund there are a multitude of talented, offensively minded forwards that includes Charlie Coyle, Zack Phillips, and Jason Zucker. They also have a very talented group of two-way forwards that includes Johan Larsson, Brett Bulmer, and Erik Haula. Leading the defense are puck-moving defensemen Jonas Brodin and Mathew Dumba. The Wild also have very good goaltending prospects in Matt Hackett and Darcy Kuemper.

The Edmonton Oilers’ system came in close at third, which shouldn’t be surprising considering the team’s slew of recent high draft picks – particularly nabbing the No. 1 pick in the last three drafts.

Here is a list of the remaining top 10 teams (in order): the Ottawa Senators, St. Louis Blues, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings.

On the other hand, here are the bottom five farm systems according to Hockey’s Future:

26. Vancouver Canucks
27. New Jersey Devils
28. Colorado Avalanche
29. Winnipeg Jets
30. Philadelphia Flyers

The popular prospect site explains the Flyers’ struggles by citing the system’s lack of top-four defensemen, offensive upside among forwards and quality goaltending.

Time will tell if teams like the Wild, Panthers and Oilers can develop their prospects and lower-ranked organizations can overcame their (perceived) deficiencies.

(H/T to the Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika.)

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  2. greatminnesotasportsmind - Dec 16, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    1. It’s a good thing you told everyone the other day that Minnesota is one if the teams in trouble if they do ever this lockout resolved. Even though I will say, they have no problems, especially with Backstrom’s 6 million and Bouchard’s outrageous contracts coming off the books.

    2. Like every Wild fan said on here all summer, this is part of the reason why Suter and Parise signed here. When you are signing 13 year contracts, it is a factor how the team is looking down the road, just not short sighted, like most of you other people think about your teams.

    3. Tip of the hat to Chuck Fletcher, when he inherited this mess a few years ago, the Wild either dead last or at the bottom of this list.

    • manchestermiracle - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:31 PM

      Regarding your #2: Those idiotic 13-year contracts are one of the big reasons the NHL isn’t playing right now.

      Other than that the Wild are doing well. I only hope we get to see some of the results of their work before those guys are all too old to play.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Dec 16, 2012 at 5:20 PM

        Let’s not pretend those 2 contracts are the first contracts that are long term (see DiPietro, Kovalchuk, and Hossa. Kovalchuk’s first contract was voided by the league the first time around). So pinning the lockout on Parise and Suter’s contracts are plain idiotic. Not to mention the Wild had planned for years to make a big splash this past summer or next summer. They hasn’t signed a free agent to a big contract in franchise history.

  3. northstars17 - Dec 16, 2012 at 5:16 AM

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  5. hockeyfan28 - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    The bottom 5 on this list has 3 teams with over a hundred points….these rankings mean nothing unless these prospects get to the NHL and produce at a high level… look at the Islanders they’re 5 and have picked in the top 10 forever while the flyers and devils are 30th and 27th very rarely if ever do.

  6. andyb02 - Dec 16, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Flyers come in last because a lot of their top young rookies are already contributing to the pro team. Couturier would be considered a top 5 prospect if he still had his rookie status and didn’t play almost all of last season on the Flyers.

  7. phillyphannn83 - Dec 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    See, what happened when you’re good, you don’t get high draft picks. The Flyers have missed the playoffs, what, 2 maybe 3 times in the last 15 years? How about only 8 times in their 44 year history. They’ve had only 2 Top 10 draft picks since 1993, and one of them, Sean Couturier in 2011, is already playing for the big club so he’s not counted among our prospects anymore. Meanwhile, the Florida Panthers have had 12 Top 10 picks since ’93 and the Wild have had 8 Top 10 picks since 2000. 2 of those picks, Granlund(2010) & Brodin (2011) still can’t get on the ice for a terrible Wild team, while Couturier has. So for the purpose of this list, they help the Wild look good for the future but Couturier doesn’t help the Flyers. Talk about skewed results. I’m sorry, but if Granlund is so good, and he has a year on Couturier, why isn’t he playing for the Wild yet? Likewise, the Panthers #3 overall draft pick last year Jonathan Huberdeau, hasn’t played in the NHL either. Florida has been at the top of this list for awhile and it hasn’t translated into wins, has it. Bottom line is this list means nothing.

    • davej0731 - Dec 18, 2012 at 1:09 PM

      You obviously don’t do any research before you make comments. Yes before Fletcher the regime drafted horribly (I.E. Sheppard, Poulliot, Thielen, etc..) Since Risebrough has left Fletcher has done everything in his power to make this team a true competitor and now it’s finally starting to show off. With your comment on how Granlund and Brodin couldn’t even make this team is a complete joke. You do realize that both of them wanted to obligate the rest of the European contracts, right? Granlund stayed 1 more year to get everything (Military Duty, Schooling) off his plate before coming to North America. What’s even funnier, they’re pretty much penciled in this year to be on the team that is way better (on paper) than last year. With the Panthers and Huberdeau, the kid is a stud, and he would’ve probably played for the Panthers this year hadn’t their been this stupid lockout.

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