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2013 NHL Training Camp: 10 Rookies Primed To Shine

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2013 NHL Training Camp: 10 Rookies Primed To Shine

MacKinnon Drouin Barkov
Ed Mulholland - USA TODAY Sports

The 2013-14 NHL season is less than two months away, and training camps will open soon. Veteran players will return to action, while young players get a chance to make their case for a roster spot. This summer’s draft was one of the most talent-rich in quite some time, and more rookies than normal could get their chance. The lockout all but eliminated training camps last season, and some players have been waiting for two years for their chance to shine. Others have battled back from injuries or are looking to improve on what they showed they could do in limited action last season.

Last season saw the emergence of rookies like Nail Yakupov of the Edmonton Oilers, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens and Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers. By the time the 2013-14 season wraps up, there’s a good chance one or more players debuting this season will find their name(s) mentioned alongside that group. At least five of the top players from this summer’s draft should have a good chance to win a roster spot, while a handful of players from the 2012 draft class are now ready to go at the highest level after maturing in the AHL, juniors or in college. The ten players in this slideshow have the talent to make it in the NHL, and will have the spotlight shining brightly on them when they take the ice at their respective teams’ training camps.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL featured columnist for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets

Mark Scheifele
Bruce Fedyck - USA TODAY Sports

Mark Scheifele has appeared in a handful of games for the Jets in each of the past two seasons. He scored 39 goals and added 40 assists for the Barrie Colts (OHL) last season, and should finally be able to earn a roster spot with the Jets for the upcoming season.

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Valeri Nichushkin, Dallas Stars

Valeri Nichushkin
Ed Mulholland - USA TODAY Sports

The Stars were more than thrilled to land Valeri Nichushkin with the 10th overall pick in this summer’s draft, and the Russian forward will be given every chance to make the roster for this season. He has the size for the NHL (6-4, 200), and it will be interesting to see how quickly he adapts to playing in North America.

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Tyler Toffoli, Los Angeles Kings

Tyler Toffoli
Kirby Lee

Tyler Toffoli was impressive during 10 games with the Kings last season, and will be fighting for a full-time roster spot this season. He scored 28 goals and had 51 points in 58 games as an AHL rookie last season, and had two goals and five points with the Kings.

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Ryan Murray, Columbus Blue Jackets

Ryan Murray
Charles LeClaire - USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jackets were the surprise of the NHL last season, and should only be better with the addition of defenseman Ryan Murray. The team’s top pick in 2012 (second overall) was sidelined by a shoulder injury last season but is expected to report to camp at full strength.

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Seth Jones, Nashville Predators

Seth Jones
Ed Mulholland - USA TODAY Sports

Young defenseman Seth Jones will be looking to send a message to the teams that passed on him during the 2013 draft, and that’s great news for the Predators. After a stellar season in juniors, Jones looks ready for the NHL, and it would be a huge surprise if he doesn’t crack the Predators’ roster for opening night.

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Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers

Aleksander Barkov
Ed Mulholland - USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers will be looking to rebound from an awful 2013 season, and will have a roster full of young players. Second overall draft pick Aleksander Barkov will likely be a part of that, and if he can translate any of the success he had in Finland to North America, he may follow in the footsteps of teammate Jonathan Huberdeau as a Calder Trophy frontrunner.

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Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon
Ed Mulholland - USA TODAY Sports

The Avalanche didn’t select Nathan MacKinnon with the first overall pick to send him back to juniors, so he’s all but guaranteed a roster spot. After a dominant QMJHL season with the Halifax Mooseheads, look for him to impress early and often once training camp opens for the Avalanche.

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Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning

Jonathan Drouin
Ed Mulholland - USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Drouin scored 41 goals and had 105 points for the Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) last season, and has nothing left to prove in juniors. He’ll come to camp ready to fight for a roster spot with the Lightning, where he’ll get to learn from Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis.

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Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators

Filip Forsberg
Randy Sartin - USA TODAY Sports

The Predators got a brief glimpse of Filip Forsberg last season, and will now find out if the Swedish forward is worth the price they paid. Look for Forsberg to be given every chance to crack the lineup for a Predators team that was 29th in the league in goals per game last season.

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Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg Jets

Jacob Trouba
Charles LeClaire - USA TODAY Sports

Jacob Trouba turned more than a few heads last season as a freshman at the University of Michigan, and after turning pro the young defenseman will have a chance to shine on a Jets team that was just a few pieces short of being a playoff contender last season.