Constructing this year's top prospect list was considerably more difficult than ever before. Every player on this list played a limited season in 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and some of the kids listed didn't play at all a year ago. As a result, I expect a ton of movement to this list moving forward as we get a better read on the future potential of certain guys as they get more games under their respective belts.
The top three players listed below were in consideration for the No. 1 spot. I see very little separation between the trio and believe all three have a legitimate claim to the title of top prospect in the NHL entering the season.
(Note: Players with 25 games or more of regular season NHL experience are not eligible)
1- Quinton Byfield (C, LAK): I felt each of the top three players on this list had a legitimate claim to the No. 1 spot, but ultimately went with Byfield, due to his youth, upside and the fact he's a lock to remain at center. With the OHL season postponed and eventually cancelled, Byfield spent the entire year in the AHL and performed well (8 goals, 20 points in 32 games) for a kid who played the entire year at age 18. Byfield is built like a linebacker on skates. He's 6-foot-4, well over 220 pounds, and moves like a player half his size. He's an exceptional skater with the ability to dominate a game