A player will be considered a prospect until he meets the following criteria:
If a prospect is a skater (forward, defenseman) and has played in 65 NHL games or more before the completion of the season of his 24th birthday; or, if a goaltender has played in 45 NHL games before the completion of the season of his 24th birthday, that player will be considered graduated to the NHL. Conversely, if a player completes the season of his 24th birthday without passing those milestones, then that player will no longer be considered a prospect by Hockey’s Future, regardless of the player’s status with his NHL club.
An NCAA player who signs his first contract at or above the age of 22 has three years to meet the above criteria (65/45), while those NCAA players that turn pro under the age of 22 will be subjected to
the criteria above.
European players who sign their first NHL contract at or above the age of 22 have three seasons from the time they sign that contract to meet the above criteria. Those European players below the age of 22 that have signed a NHL contract will be subjected to the criteria in section one.
He's shown he can handle the NHL and not look out of place. I'm sure Stone will be a great player for us, and I'm really high on him, but Wiercioch has proven more. He showed stretches where he played like a top four defenseman, but needs to round out his game and get stronger. Both are very do-able. He has a great stretch pass, a solid shot, smooth skating and has great size.
23 years old. He found success in the AHL (80 points, winning the AHL MVP as a rookie), and in the NHL (29 points in 47 games in his first NHL season).
We didn't get a huge viewing of what he can do in Ottawa. He played 12 regular season games for us, and it was when we struggled the most (not Conacher's fault). The whole team was having problems scoring and we were falling.
But he has NHL experience and succeeded in it. He's small, but he goes to the net hard. He agitates and has tons of speed. He came up big against Montreal after being scratched, with a clutch tying goal in game four, the GWG in game five and added an insurance goal when it didn't really matter later that game. He trailed off against Pittsburgh, but at the same time, the team wasn't scoring a lot. He still displayed his agitating ability.