10 NHL Players Who Will Break Out This Season
10 Breakout NHL Players In 2013-14
Every season, there are a certain number of players in the NHL who become household names in the hockey community. Whether it is a high pick who finally gets his shot to crack the top six of a team, or a guy who people gave no chance but ends up being a star, these kinds of seasons are the best.
These next 10 athletes are going to show the world what kind of talent they really have in the 2013-14 season. There are rookies, guys in their second seasons and guy who took a couple of years, but they are finally ready to be the man -- they are ready to make the jump from prospect to superstar.
John Tavares was the best example last season. He went from a guy who was well known to every New York Islanders fan to the guy who carried a dying franchise to the playoffs. Even though his points pace was similar to the year prior, he became a household name in 2013.
Sergei Bobrovsky is another player you could put into this category. He went from a guy that the Philadelphia Flyers couldn't wait to get out of town to a Vezina winner for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Most hockey experts had this guy out of the league in the next few years, yet now he will be a mainstay.
These next 10 players are about to embark on the best years of their careers. The year, it all comes together on a professional level for them. The frustration they may have felt before is now an afterthought. The only thing that matters is making a name for themselves. Watch how they do that.
10. Jacob Markstrom
For what seems like forever it seemed that Florida Panthers fans have been calling for Roberto Luongo to come back to Miami and play for their home town team. 23-year-old Jacob Markstrom is looking to ease the pain of Florida fans. He was spectacular with a .925 save percentage two seasons ago when he got his first NHL action. He wasn't great last season, but his defense will improve this year and his confidence will only go up from here.
9. Tyler Myers
Tyler Myers has been a declining player ever since his Calder Trophy-winning campaign in 2010. The difference now is that he has his security blanket back. Henrik Tallinder was reacquired from the New Jersey Devils in July and he was paired with Myers during his rookie campaign. Now that they are together again, Myers has a chance to regain his confidence. The young defenseman got a big contract from the team early, and his cap hit is hurting the team if he doesn't produce. He needs to play much better, and now he will.
8. Andrei Loktionov
Andrei Loktionov seems to be the forgotten Devil. However, when paired with the right players, he was a pure scorer. He could be a secret weapon this season for the Devils. He could end up making up for some of the lost scoring they had the past two offseasons. The Devils sure could use it.
7. Chris Kreider
Chris Kreider showed so much promise for the New York Rangers in the 2012 playoffs. His breakout season was supposed to be last season, but it just didn't work out that way. With the hard-nosed coaching style of John Tortorella now in Vancouver, Kreider will have the ability to really play his game. Expect this guy to be Alain Vigneault's favorite young gun this season.
6. Mikael Granlund
Mikael Granlund was a player that the Minnesota Wild were very high on coming into the season. Then as the season progressed, they showed how short the leash was for the rookie as it was evident that he had zero chemistry with anyone. This season, that will change. Granlund will have a full offseason to develop chemistry with some of the new Wild players. That will be the reason that the talent will finally turn into production for Granlund in 2013-14.
5. Jakob Silfverberg
Jakob Silfverberg is currently the forgotten piece in the Bobby Ryan trade. The kid looked like he was finally getting the hang of the professional level, and now he gets to play with the likes of Teemu Selanne, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. He is going to have a great season if he gets to play with any of those greats.
4. Brayden Schenn
Brayden Schenn was one of the only bright spots that came out of the Flyers' 2013 season. He looked good on the ice last season and is poised to finally break out a la Giroux two years ago. He has been in the league for four seasons already, and he has all the tools to finally make the jump into being a top guy on this Flyers' offense.
3. Seth Jones
Seth Jones was the can't-miss rookie that everyone said was a lock to be the first African American player taken first overall in NHL history. However, three teams decided to go in a different direction with their pick, and that is going to motivate this kid like nothing else could. Look for Jones to win the Calder Trophy and have Nashville Predators fans saying "Ryan who?".
2. Nail Yakupov
Yakupov was last season's no. 1 overall pick. He gained notoriety for his goal celebrations and his on-ice play. He went through the usual rookie mistakes, but now all of that is out of his system. He is primed to take over the hockey world this season. Don't expect anyone to be able to stop him.
1. Vladimir Tarasenko
Vladimir Tarasenko is no doubt going to be a superstar in the NHL this season. Expect him to be a point per game type player now that he is used to the NHL game. His shot is unreal and he has breakaway speed. He will make all 15 teams who passed on him very upset.