The past season was ugly and the present looks murky, but if Hockey Prospectus’ 2013 organizational rankings are any indication, the future could be awfully bright for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Bolts took the No. 1 spot on a list released Monday, thanks in part to drafting Jonathan Drouin third overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. Corey Pronman writes that GM Steve Yzerman has helped build “the best system in the NHL.”
Two of the top five teams managed to make the playoffs, though their successes surprised some:
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
2. New York Islanders
3. Buffalo Sabres
4. Anaheim Ducks
5. Florida Panthers
Stanley Cup champion Chicago ranked ninth.
On the other end of the spectrum, two of the bottom five teams missed the postseason:
26. San Jose Sharks
27. Los Angeles Kings
28. New Jersey Devils
29. Philadelphia Flyers
30. St. Louis Blues
Want some insight on where your favorite (and most hated) teams ranked and why? Click here.