Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Martin Hanzal: The NHL's Next Star

The 6'6", 236-pound towering-beast of a centre, Martin Hanzal, is having a breakout season and there is reason to believe it is the real deal. 18 points through 18 games, which 6 of them are goals, certainly attests for that breakout season. He's doing all this in his age-26 season, which makes sense since 26 is the start of an athlete's prime. Hanzal has always had the talent but in the 2013-14 NHL Season, he's finally turning that talent into star production.


First things first, Hanzal has been physical at an all new level this season. 57 hits through 18 games has put him on pace to get a career high 317 hits.


The hit above may have been a tad bit more physical than needed but it only proves that Hanzal is more serious about his game this year. Penalties and suspensions are a given when you are trying to take your game to the next level with your physicality.

Martin Hanzal's partner in crime, Radim Vrbata (one of my favorite players in the NHL), has been on fire this season. Like Hanzal, Vrbata is having almost as equally good of a season. Through the first 18 games, their chemistry is at a high level. The right wing sniper has 17 points through 19 games, with 6 of them being goals, like Hanzal.


A big reason for the career season is his career high shooting percentage, 12.8%. That number isn't particularly high but it's still his best and it puts him on pace for 27 goals, if he were to play a full 82 games, which is pretty likely given his sturdy structure.

Against the Tampa Bay Lightning on November 16th, Hanzal had the game of his life, scoring a goal and assisting on three others, prevailing the Coyotes to a 6-3 victory. Along with the 4 points, his +/- was +4. This game was his coming out party and should have put the NHL on watch, if they weren't already.

Not only has Martin Hanzal's elevated play risen his point totals, but his performance has put the Phoenix Coyotes one point out of first place in the Western Conference.

All I can say is, watch out NHL; you may just have one of your next stars and you don't even know it. 

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