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Hockey's Future Ranks Thrashers Prospects 6th in NHL

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The Atlanta Thrashers finished very high in the latest Hockey's Future ranking of prospects. The Top Five Thrasher prospects according to HF were: 1 Bogosian, 2 Pavelec 3 Kane 4 Machecek 5 Klingberg. The Thrashers scored well because they had both high impact players at the top and depth beyond their top five.

These prospect rankings always inspire a fair amount of debate. Fans of nearly every NHL team complain that they should have ranked higher and some other team ranked lower. In the case of the Thrashers, I generally agree with the ranking because I believe that the team has great depth. I composed my own Top 25 Thrashers Prospects after the Draft and Prospect Camp this summer and I think that the first 10 players on that list have a very good chance of becoming NHL players.

My chief complaint about the organizational rankings is their criteria for what constitutes a prospect. The Top 5 for most NHL teams contain a player who is no longer a prospect but a full fledged NHL player. In the Thrashers case, they count Zach Bogosian as a prospect despite the fact that he spent 100% of the 2008-09 season in the NHL. Because of his injury, Bogosian finished just below their NHL games played cut off.

The good news is that even if you remove Bogosian, there are still several quality prospects with a great NHL potential. The farm system is deeper than ever due to the Hossa trade (Leveille, Esposito and O'Dell) and outstanding NHL Drafts in 2007 and 2009.