A look at some of the NHL’s future stars.
Below is a look at three of the NHL’s up-and-coming stars.
Artemi Panarin – Left Wing – Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks are loaded with talent, and 24-year-old rookie left winger Artemi Panarin has wasted no time solidifying himself as the Blackhawks’ next superstar. Panarin isn’t the only star on Chicago’s roster as studs Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are only three years Panarin’s elder. The Blackhawks newcomer leads all rookies in points (57), goals (22) and assists (35). The next closest NHL rookie behind Panarin in points is Arizona Coyotes rookie Max Domi, who is a healthy 15 points behind (42 points) the Blackhawks’ Russian rookie. Chicago has a balanced and talented roster with players in their prime, coupled with a solid foundation of youth. Hence, the Blackhawks should be in contention for an NHL title for the next decade.
Dylan Larkin – Center – Detroit Red Wings
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin, it’s that speed leads to efficiency. Larkin leads all NHL rookies in plus-minus at +21, primarily because of his game-breaking speed and constant attacking mindset. Larkin’s tremendous speed allows him to be the catalyst for Red Wings scoring chances. The 19-year-old is also second among NHL rookies in goals with 19.
Since the start of the second half of the NHL season, opposing teams have effectively schemed for Larkin. As a result, the Red Wings have struggled to score of late. However, it’s just a matter of time before Larkin gets back into a groove on offense. Talented Detroit veterans Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk should occupy more defensive attention, giving Larkin the space he needs to create for himself and others. Larkin has quickly become the future of the Red Wings franchise, and if Detroit surrounds him with a skilled supporting cast, the Red Wings should soon be a Stanley Cup contender.
Connor McDavid – Center – Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers rookie Connor McDavid, who turned 19 years old in January, has only played in 28 of Edmonton’s 65 games this season because of a broken clavicle. However, McDavid has been extremely effective in the short amount of time that he’s been healthy. This season, the 6-foot-1 center has recorded 19 assists and 12 goals, including both goals against second-overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft Jack Eichel in Edmonton’s 2-1 overtime victory in Buffalo against the Sabres on Tuesday.
Considering the Oilers currently have the second-fewest points in the NHL (55), McDavid, last year’s No. 1 overall pick in the NHL Draft, could find himself playing with a few other first-overall picks before he gets his first taste of playoff hockey. That being said, Edmonton is fortunate to have him. McDavid’s speed and spectacular puck handling make him a lethal offensive threat — One the Oilers can build their franchise around in the foreseeable future.