Monday, September 23, 2013

Five Candidates For a Breakout Season In 2013-2014

1. Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars: The Dallas Stars made perhaps the largest move of the offseason in terms of acquiring a player with superstar potential in Tyler Seguin.

Seguin was the Bruins 2nd overall draft pick in 2010 and was one of their key player when they won the Stanley Cup back in 2011.

Bruins shocked the hockey world this past offseason by moving Seguin to Dallas along with Rich Peverley and Ryan Button to the Dallas Stars in exhange for Loui Eriksson, Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser.

There are talks after the trade that Seguin's party lifestyle irked the Boston Bruins. But remember that Seguin is only a 21 year old kid. Giving up on a 21 year old ultra talented hockey player because of his 'party lifestyle' could bite the Bruins in the you-know-what in a couple of years.

2. Chris Kreider, New York Rangers: One of the best young prospect in the game. Kreider made his debut for the Rangers last year in the playoffs and opened a lot of eyes scoring 5 goals and 2 assists in 18 games. He's also the first player in NHL history whose first 2 goals were game winners.

Kreider is your prototypical power forward. He's 6'3 with great speed and has an uncanny ability to find the net.

New Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault is already intrigued with Kreider trying him out on the Rangers 1st line playing alongside Rick Nash and Brad Richards.

3. Zack Kassian, Vancouver Canucks: Big Zack according to new head coach John Tortorella will start the season playing alongside the Sedins on Vancouver's 1st line.

Kassian has all the potential in the world to be one of the top power forwards in the game. What makes him so intriguing is he's big, he's strong, soft hands, great skater and he's not afraid to mix it up. Key for him is staying out of the box.

I also think that Big Zack is the one that will benefit the most from the coaching changes in Vancouver. John Tortorella is known as a no nonsense type of a guy. But he is also one of the best coach in the game. He also has a history of helping young players develop their skills and be fully prepared at the NHL level. 

4. Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche: Simply one of the best young leaders in the league. Colorado named him the young captain in NHL history last September.

Landeskog is the type of player that can shutdown opposing forwards but can also put up solid offensive numbers. He's simply one of the better 2 way forwards in the game.

For a rebuilding team like Colorado, Landeskog is the exact type of player you want to build your team around.

5. Nail Yakupov, Edmonton Oilers: Oilers are loaded with former 1st overall draft picks on their team. Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov. Yakupov might be the best of the three.

Yakupov was tied in rookie scoring last year with Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers with 31 pts. Yakupov also led all rookies in goals with 17.

On April 27, 2013, Yakupov recorded his first career hat trick in a 7-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. With all 3 goals coming in the third period.

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