1994 Team’s Top Prospect – Adams Division
Before we get to the list, it must be said that a prospect is being classified as a player in the organization’s farm system, and who is under 25 years old. Now it’s time to take a look at the Adams Division.
Boston Bruins – Martin Straka, C
1993 – Martin Straka
Straka remains the Bruins' top prospect as the 1994 season gets underway. He still has another season or two in the minors, but it is clear that he is being groomed to be the Bruins top line center of the future. His only real weakness is his discipline, but that is fixable by the time he reaches the pro team. With a few more seasons of development he will have a terrific all-around offensive game.
Buffalo Sabres – Markus Naslund, LW
1993 - David Oliver (trade to DET)
Naslund is arguably the best prospect in this division, and that’s saying something considering the talent on Montreal. Naslund will most likely spend his age 22 season in the minors before making the jump to the pros. He is already better than anyone playing left wing for the Sabres. Unless the Sabres bury him in the depth chart, he will be an offensive star for years as soon as he makes his pro debut.
Hartford Whalers – Paul DiPietro, C
1993 – David Harlock
The Whalers are still a win-now team with their first Cup coming just 2 seasons ago. The Whalers are not a team full of top young prospects. Mainly because they have top tier talent at the pro level. DiPietro is 24, and just makes the cut here. He is a decent offensive player who has no glaring weaknesses. It’s possible that he could contribute on the pro team on the 3rd or 4th lines, or the Whalers might use him as a trade chip to acquire a veteran at the trade deadline. DiPietro got the nod over Harlock because we don’t see Harlock being as good as DiPietro is now when he turns 24, in two years.
Montreal Canadiens – Chris Pronger, D
1993 - Jamie Langenbrunner (Traded to TOR)
This was not an easy decision. The Canadiens are stocked when it comes to top flight prospects. With the likes of Cory Stillman, Glen Murray, Roman Hamrlik, and Chris Osgood, this organization has an extremely bright future. Even with those names mentioned, Chris Pronger’s light shines the brightest. He is a very physical defenseman who will contribute on offensive, and can run point on a power play. He should be in conversation for best defenseman in NFHL within 3 years if all goes well with his development.
Quebec Nordiques – Jeff Friesen, LW
1993 - Anson Carter
Friesen was drafted by Quebec this past offseason and gets the nod over Anson Carter. Friesen has a solid foundation of skills, and with proper development can became a top 2 liner for the Nordiques. He will need to concentrate on improving his passing to be a complete player.
Toronto Maple Leafs – Milan Hejduk, RW
1993 - Dan Lambert (Trade to CLB)
Hejduk was selected 2nd overall in the 1993 NFHL Entry Draft, and looks to be every part of a top 3 pick. As long as Toronto gives him the training and coaching he needs, there is no reason why he won’t be their 1st line right wing in 4-5 seasons. He is the clear top prospect for the Toronto Maple Leafs.