With the NHL draft and free agency frenzy behind us, we now are gearing up for the 2011-12 season. Training camps will soon be opening, providing the opportunity for younger prospects to impress their teams. So who should you keep an eye on? Looking at all the players who have yet to start the clock on their NHL contracts, here are my top 10 prospects and why they could make a mark in the upcoming season:
No. 5 overall pick, 2009 draft
This center will find a way to stick in the NHL after Philly's trades of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. After leading Canada to a silver medal at the World Jr. Championships and proving to be an elite junior player for the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL, he brings a solid two-way game to the Flyers. (He nearly cracked the Kings' lineup last season before being traded). He has the skills and offensive touch to make an immediate impression, and while his skating quickness needs to improve, this will not hold him back. The Flyers are clearly ready to move in a different direction, and he comes into the fold at the right time.