This article is part of our Prospects Analysis series.
The NHL as a whole is increasingly becoming a younger league, but it's still not uncommon to see players that are ready to help the big club right away begin the season in the AHL. Below is our annual list of 10 prospects that are worth stashing on your bench even though they may start the year with their organization's minor-league affiliate.
1- Igor Shesterkin (G-NYR) / Ilya Samsonov (G-WSH): Shesterkin and Samsonov will both begin the season in the minors as there's no simply room for either of them in New York or D.C. at the moment. It's the correct decision. Henrik Lundqvist and impressive second-year man Alexandar Georgiev are expected to shoulder the load for the Rangers, while Braden Holtby (backed up by Pheonix Copley) is the unquestioned No. 1 man in the nation's capital. It's difficult to decide which of these two young Russians is better equipped to contribute this season. Shesterkin seems more likely to earn a significant chunk of NHL games, but he's also entering his first season in North America. Samsonov is less likely to earn playing time in Washington, but he spent the entirety of last season in the AHL. Both youngsters project as future top-tier netminders, and both possess league-winning upside in the event they earn the starting gig with their respective teams as the result of trades, injuries, or otherwise.
2- Jordan Kyrou (RW-STL): Kyrou is clearly ready to play in the NHL at age 21, but