Some of the best and brightest young stars in the NHL. These young guns are on the verge of stardom and should be considered high picks in most pools. With the high risk comes the high reward. Expect many of these players to emerge rather quickly as many of them have already had a productive season. The top 10 list of NHL scorers will contain a couple of these names before long
1. Anze Kopitar
Kopitar managed a respectable 60+ points as a 19 year old rookie, something that hasnít been accomplished by many players. Most players arenít even playing in the NHL at 19, let alone leading their team in ice time, and playing in all situations. What makes Kopitar special is that he doesnít appear to have a weakness, he does all things well, and sees the ice very well. 100 point seasons down the road are not out of the question. Expect 80 points from Kopitar this season.
2. Alexander Radulov
Radulov forced Nashvilleís hand this season and just played to well in his short stint in the minors to be left there. While his numbers werenít mind boggling in his first year keep in mind his icetime was limited to under 13 minutes a game. Increased minutes and a bigger PP role will result in huge numbers for this kid.
3. Wojtek Wolski
All this kid does is score everywhere heís been. 70 points are not out of the question for this kid next years and many more among the top scorers in the NHL for years to come.
4. Niklas Backstrom
Difficult to say how good this kid will be but early indications are he will put up huge numbers. Heís already played with men in Sweeden and led his team in scoring. Heís also been compared to Peter Forsberg. Playing with Ovechkin and Semin will certainly help. Backstrom is an early Calder favorite and could put up 80 points as a rookie. This kid is probably the best player on this list.
5. Jonathan Toews
This kid has all the tools to be a star. He might not get as many assists as Backstrom but should be a top player in this league for a long time. If I had to compare him to someone it would be Steve Yzerman.
6. Jack Johnson
This kid scores and takes a ton of PIMís. While Eric Johnson might end up being the better defender I donít think he has Jackís offensive potential and wonít put up as many PIMís. Why Carolina traded this guy Iíll never know.
7. Steve Downie
Thatís right Steve Downie. What is he doing here you say? Well all the kid has done is win 2 WJC gold medals, be the best player on his team in the OHL, put up nearly 2 points a game with huge PIMís, and get better all the time. This kid displays a passion for the game that few do. He has the heart of a Sutter, will take PIMís like Avery, and has more skill. Heíll be a fan favorite in Philly for years to come.
8. Phil Kessel
While he didnít light it up as an 18 year with Boston, he did overcome some huge adversity. A better question might be, what was he doing playing in Boston at 18 years old? The kid will score and has a combination of speed, skill and raw talent that is hard to deny.
9. Josh Harding
I have a hard time putting goalies on lists because they are ďlike a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to getĒ. Hardingís numbers are to good to ignore and that combined with the fact he might be starting for Minny next year makes him even harder to ignore.
10. Carey Price
WJC gold medal, WJC MVP, Canadian junior goalie of the year, and now staring with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. Possible Calder Cup and MVP? Enough said.
Honorable mention: Peter Meuller, Patrick Kane
Please note: Malkin and Stastny were not included on this list because they have already arrived in my opinion.