Welcome to my fifth annual top NHL prospects list for ESPN. This is based on the games I’ve watched, live and on tape, conversations with scouts and executives, and statistical research throughout the past season (and well before that, in most cases).
For purposes of this ranking, a player is no longer a prospect if they play 25 games or more in any NHL season, or more than 50 total in their career.
We separate the goalie rankings because frankly, there would be two or fewer of them in the top 100 every year if we had a combined list, given how little value top goalie prospects have relative to their skater counterparts. The ranking of the top 20 netminders are included at the tail end of this column.
In terms of tiers for this year’s top 100, there’s a drop-off after No. 6, and another after No. 12.