The Kids' Table: Prospect Opportunity Index
The Kids' Table: Prospect Opportunity Index

This article is part of our The Kids' Table series.

When it comes to NHL prospects, more than those of pretty much any other league, the team that drafts you plays a major part in whether you go on to have a successful career. Often, the teams with high draft picks have a lot of holes and need whatever player they're drafting to step in immediately, but sometimes that's not the case. Sometimes, those players end up not quite fitting the system or not responding to the coaching staff the way a top pick ought to. A lot of this is unpredictable, but we as fantasy hockey players need to identify these prospects in order to weed out the good eggs from the bad ones.

In 2010, Ryan Johansen and Nino Niederreiter were picks No. 4 and No. 5 by the Blue Jackets and Islanders, respectively. They've now both moved on to different organizations, and with good reason. Johansen, who was widely expected to explode this season, wasn't very happy with how management handled his restricted free agency this offseason, nor did he seem to get on with new coach John Tortorella, and now he's a Predator. The Islanders refused to give Niederreiter a real shot, ultimately trading him in 2013, and he's become a serviceable forward for the Wild.

There's no way anyone saw this coming back in 2010, but that's how things go in the NHL. So in order to target guys who won't fall into situations like these, we must first identify which teams offer the best

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Benjamin Zweiman
Benjamin Zweiman is a copy editor and fantasy contributor for NHL.com and writes about daily fantasy basketball for RotoWire. Follow him on Twitter @BZweimanNHL.
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