By Rob Kirk
on Wednesday, November 21st
In the off chance the NHL decides to settle their differences and actually play a little hockey, there are plenty of new faces looking to make a name for themselves at the NHL level.
Some of these players come into the league with a great deal of fanfare, the potential saviors of the franchise. Other players have seasoned themselves at the junior level, but appear to have shed their metaphorical diapers and shaved off their peach fuzz.
The following five players have star potential written all over them. They come into a situation where they won’t be asked to carry their respective franchise, but could eventually do exactly that.
The terms “bust” and “can’t miss” are often applied to a player that never fulfills their potential despite possessing all the talent and tools to succeed. These players each fall into the “can’t miss” category. The moment they hit the ice, the clock starts ticking on how their careers will be judged.
Nail Yakupov-The top overall pick in the 2012 draft, Edmonton Oiler prospect Yakupov is lighting it up in the KHL. Edmonton fans are licking their collective chops to see the Russian sniper join forces with the wealth of young talent on the Oilers.
Dougie Hamilton-After growing into his enormous 6’5” frame with Niagara in the OHL, Boston Bruin defenseman Hamilton will look to apply his talents at the next level. With gifted hands and a booming shot, Hamilton will fit right in to a productive Bruin defensive corps.
Chris Kreider-During the playoffs, the New York Rangers welcomed Chris Kreider to the playoff roster. He responded by netting five goals and two assists in 18 games. All the attention will be on Rick Nash when hockey starts in Madison Square Garden, but Kreider will get a great opportunity to see the ice while Marian Gaborik recovers from shoulder surgery.
Ryan Strome- The New York Islanders have a ton of young talent as they try to get back to respectability. John Tavares, Matt Moulson and Michael Grabner are a few of the young stars on the rise on Long Island (Brooklyn next year). Joining them is highly touted center Ryan Strome. He’ll be 19 when the NHL season starts and the Islander brass will be anxious to remove his training wheels to see if he is NHL ready
Johnathan Huberdeau-The 19-year old Florida Panther' center could eventually be the brightest star on the roster. Tremendous vision on the ice coupled with a brilliant playmaking touch and tremendous skating ability will be a welcome addition to the Florida roster.