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Future Watch Rewind: Looking Back at the Top Prospects from 2012, 2017

How do Future Watch’s classes of 2012 and 2017 look with the benefit of a little hindsight?
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By Boyan Demchuk

Forecasting NHL prospects is a famously inexact science. So over the years, Future Watch’s top 50 (now top 100) prospects lists have seen many hits – and a few misses, too.

Looking back 10 years, though, the class of 2012 has quietly become one of the most star-studded in memory. It boasted a diverse array of current top talents, such as Jonathan Huberdeau, Mark Stone, Dougie Hamilton, Vladimir Tarasenko, Mika Zibanejad, Mark Scheifele and Tyler Toffoli. Joining that group of stud skaters are masked men Jacob Markstrom and Robin Lehner, two of the NHL’s premier stoppers. They ranked eighth and 20th overall that year – the top two goalies on the list. In all, 29 of the 50 players have now played at least 500 NHL games. More names – including Lehner and Markstrom – will join the 500-game club eventually.

The 2017 class, too, is dotted with star power, headlined by players such as Mathew Barzal, Kyle Connor and Kirill Kaprizov. Being just five years out from its publication, much is still to be revealed. Many of these players have just started their NHL careers after developing in major junior, Europe or the AHL. That said, only one member of the class, Tyler Parsons, has yet to make his NHL debut. So don’t be surprised to see more and more of the 2017 cohort taking home league hardware and accolades in the coming years – while adding significantly to those games-played totals. 

Here are The Hockey News’ top 50 lists from five and 10 years ago. Players are listed with current team and career NHL games on March 10. You can purchase the 2022 edition of Future Watch here.

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Future Watch 2012

FW12

1. Evgeny Kuznetsov, WSH 576
2. Mikael Granlund, NSH 645
3. Jonathan Huberdeau, FLA 648
4. Dougie Hamilton, NJ 644
5. Mika Zibanejad, NYR 661
6. Vladimir Tarasenko, STL 582
7. Mark Scheifele, WPG 626
8. Jacob Markstrom, CGY 359
9. Ryan Strome, NYR 600
10. Brandon Gormley, Yaroslavl (KHL) 58
11. Ryan Ellis, PHI 566
12. Jonas Brodin, MIN 654
13. Zack Kassian, EDM 588
14. Charlie Coyle, BOS 678
15. Sven Baertschi, Henderson (AHL) 292
16. Brendan Smith, CAR 554
17. Tim Erixon, Timra (Swe.) 93
18. Joe Colborne, retired 295
19. Nick Bjugstad, MIN 520
20. Robin Lehner, VEG 358
21. Justin Schultz, WSH 579
22. Oscar Klefbom, EDM 378
23. Chris Kreider, NYR 630
24. Joel Armia, MTL 377
25. Brandon Saad, STL 684
26. Ryan Murphy, Grand Rapids (AHL) 175
27. Joe Morrow, Nur-Sultan (KHL) 162
28. Jaden Schwartz, SEA 592
29. J.T. Miller, VAN 613
30. Jordan Caron, retired 157
31. Cody Eakin, BUF 685
32. Calle Jarnkrok, SEA 555
33. Nathan Beaulieu, WPG 419
34. Gustav Nyquist, CLB 627
35. Matt Hackett, retired 26
36. Rickard Rakell, ANA 548
37. Carter Ashton, Leksand (Swe.) 54
38. Johan Larsson, ARI 474
39. Tyler Toffoli, CGY 625
40. Kyle Palmieri, NYI 652
41. Jack Campbell, TOR 126
42. Vladislav Namestnikov, DET 533
43. Simon Despres, Berlin (Ger.) 193
44. Ty Rattie, Timra (Swe.) 99
45. Mark Stone, VEG 532
46. Beau Bennett, retired 200
47. Louis Leblanc, retired 50
48. David Savard, MTL 653
49. Calvin de Haan, CHI 503
50. Jarred Tinordi, Hartford (AHL) 109

Future Watch 2017

FW17

1. Clayton Keller, ARI 349
2. Jesse Puljujarvi, EDM 240
3. Thomas Chabot, OTT 305
4. Charlie McAvoy, BOS 289
5. Joel Eriksson Ek, MIN 316
6. Alex Nylander, W-B/Scranton (AHL) 84
7. Dylan Strome, CHI 249
8. Mathew Barzal, NYI 334
9. Mikhail Sergachev, TB 336
10. Pierre-Luc Dubois, WPG 336
11. Tyson Jost, COL 319
12. Colin White, OTT 206
13. Kirill Kaprizov, MIN 109
14. Logan Brown, STL 48
15. Olli Juolevi, DET 33
16. Luke Kunin, NSH 225
17. Julius Honka, Lulea (Swe.) 87
18. Ilya Samsonov, WSH 78
19. Brock Boeser, VAN 305
20. Evgeny Svechnikov, WPG 88
21. Travis Sanheim, PHI 309
22. Shea Theodore, VEG 371
23. Jacob Larsson, San Diego (AHL) 165
24. Tage Thompson, BUF 199
25. Julien Gauthier, NYR 90
26. Kyle Connor, WPG 362
27. Michael McLeod, NJ 138
28. Max Jones, ANA 137
29. Philippe Myers, NSH 140
30. Brandon Montour, FLA 349
31. Henrik Borgstrom, CHI 98
32. Valeri Nichushkin, COL 383
33. Kasperi Kapanen, PIT 299
34. Tyler Parsons, Stockton (AHL) 0
35. Dante Fabbro, NSH 154
36. Jordan Greenway, MIN 252
37. Jake Bean, CLB 86
38. German Rubtsov, Lehigh Valley (AHL) 4
39. Rasmus Asplund, BUF 113
40. Sam Steel, ANA 179
41. Ivan Barbashev, STL 325
42. Jakub Vrana, DET 296
43. Denis Gurianov, DAL 193
44. Dennis Cholowski, Charlotte (AHL) 111
45. Alex Tuch, BUF 281
46. Jack Roslovic, CLB 284
47. Adrian Kempe, LA 367
48. Vladislav Kamenev, CSKA Moscow (KHL) 66
49. Jon Gillies, NJ 26
50. Jake Walman, STL 55

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