Prospect Ramblings: Top 10 Western Conference Impact Prospects for 2016-17

Zachary DeVine


The Western Conference has its share of young talent. Not quite as much as the East, which boasts some teams in some state of a Shana-plan style rebuild but the prospects ready to make the jump to the NHL are numerous. Adding to this some teams are simply forced to add a kid to the roster. Arizona recently let Antoine Vermette walk, San Jose uncomfortably close to the salary cap and Edmonton is well, Edmonton. 
An important item to consider this preseason: many of the NHL’s biggest stars will head to the World Cup of Hockey. This tidbit is important for two reasons: First, the extra space in NHL training camps will give younger players knocking on the door of making the team more time to impress coaches, learn systems, and create chemistry with teammates. Second: injuries happen at any level of hockey. From a pick-up game to the NHL’s Frankenstein of a “world” competition. 
Based on all of this we’ve compiled our list of top prospects ready to make an impact this year. The following ranking is not a best of or where their careers will end up. Simply, for a single season, who could help their NHL team and thus your fantasy squad.  
Below are the top 10 young players that are ready and could make an impact on the Western Conference this year.
Patrik Laine
1- Patrik Laine – Winnipeg Jets
Easiest choice, biggest impact, massive player. As the most dynamic player in the 2016 draft, Laine is an absolute lock for the Jets roster. He turned 18 only a few months ago, but the weight that his shoulders have carried during his draft year pl