In fantasy hockey, players who are 25 and under and are delivering elite level stats are the key to a championship team. These players who were recently top prospects quickly rewarded their owners with fulfilling production and entry level cap hits.
1. Steven Stamkos (23) Tampa Bay Lightning
Perhaps the purest goal scorer in the NHL right now. A perennial threat to score 50 goals and win the Rocket Richard Trophy
2. John Tavares (23) New York Islanders
Tavares is quickly becoming one of the most dominant centres in the league. His upside could include scoring titles and Hart Trophies
3. Erik Karlsson (23) Ottawa Senators
The Norris Trophy winner could arguably be at the top of this list, and in the near future may be at the top of the 25 best players. Karlsson has the potential to be the best player in the world.
4. Patrick Kane (24) Chicago Blackhawks
At only 24 and already a Cup winner who scored the Cup winning goal and the best is yet to come.
5. Taylor Hall (21) Edmonton Oilers
The first overall pick has had some injuries and they have slowed him down a little, but Hall is still fantasy gold.
6. Matt Duchene (22) Colorado Avalanche
After a brutal third season, Duchene rebounded nicely last year and is back on track. Assuming the Avalanche draft Seth Jones first overall, Duchene should continue his reign as the Avs top centre for years
7. Logan Couture (24) San Jose Sharks
This past season was his coming out party. It is no longer the jumbo Joe and little Joe show in San Jose. Couture is now the go-to-man on this team.
8. Jordan Eberle (23) Edmonton Oilers
What sets Eberle apart from his Oiler teammates is his ability to stay healthy. He doesnt have the same pedigree as Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, or Yakupov as a first overall draft pick, but he may be the most reliable.
9. Jamie Benn (24) Dallas Stars
The budding power forward has transitioned smoothly from wing to centre, and after a slow start to the season due to contract negotiations he finished with an impressive 33 points. Benn is about to really breakout.
10. P.K. Subban (24) Montreal Canadiens
The Habs star defender also had a slow start due to a contract conflict but was able to produce a Norris Trophy calibre season. The question is not will he win the Norris, rather how many.
11. Evander Kane (22) Winnipeg Jets
You can question if he wants to be in Winnipeg or not. There are questions about his character, but there is no questioning his skills.
12. Derek Stepan (23) New York Rangers
The decline(and potential buyout) of Brad Richards has opened the door wide for Stepan and he strode right through it seizing the number one centre position and producing a whopping 44 points in 48 games.
13. Nazem Kadri (22) Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs long search for a number one centre has been answered by Kadri. His breakout season was impressive scoring 44 points and at times carrying the offense for the Leafs.
14. Cody Hodgson (23) Buffalo Sabres
The former CHL player of the year had a career scare earlier with a back injury that cost him a season. Back to full health he has finally arrived having scored 34 points.
15. Oliver Ekman-Larsson (22) Phoenix Coyotes
The third defenseman on the list has drawn career comparisons to Nicklas Lidstrom. Even if he only achieves half of Lidstroms status it will still be Hall of Fame worthy.
16. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (20) Edmonton Oilers
Injuries have been an issue for the young diminutive budding star. RNH produced points for Canada at the World Juniors but was unable to lead them to Gold. He had a lack luster 24 point season in 40 games.
17. Tyler Seguin (21) Boston Bruins
During the lockout Seguin played in Europe and was scoring at will. Based on that his 32 point season, and his playoff production leaves you wanting more.
18. Drew Doughty (23) Los Angeles Kings
It is hard to believe Doughty is only 23 and already he has Olympic Gold, and a Stanley Cup, and is only 18 on this list. There are also Norris Trophies in his future as well. That rally says quite a lot about the defensemen ahead of him on this list!
19. Nail Yakupov (19) Edmonton Oilers
Most of the players on this list are 23 years old, but while still largely potential it is impossible to deny the sniper placement on the list. His upside is massive.
20. Jonathan Huberdeau (20) Florida Panthers
Tied with Yakupov for the rookie lead in scoring with 31 points Huberdeau will anchor the Panthers offense for years
21. Gabriel Landeskog (20) Colorado Avalanche
The Calder winner and team captain had a disappointing season but like Duchene, it is fully expected for him to bounce back. He is a premier power forward.
22. James Van Riemsdyk (24) Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs may have stolen the former second overall from the Flyers. After teasing to breakout and suffering injuries so far in his career, JVR finally arrived scoring 32 points in a full (albeit lockout shortened) 48 game season.
23. Kyle Turris (24) Ottawa Senators
Turris replaced Spezza as the Sens number one centre for most of the season. He may not have produced Spezza like offense, but he did pretty good scoring 29 points to lead the team in scoring.
24. Max Pacioretty (24) Montreal Canadiens
The Habs star has lead the team in scoring for two seasons now. One day Galchenyuk will take the lead, but Pacioretty has arrived and is reliable for 60 point seasons for years.
25. Ryan OReilly (22) Colorado Avalanche
After leading the Avs in scoring the previous season, a contract stalemate cost OReilly the first 19 games. Still, he manages to produce 20 points in 29 games proving his previous season was no success.
These are the top 25 but honorable mention goes to players seriously considered for this list. Brayden Schenn, Justin Schultz, Jeff Skinner, Sean Couturier, Chris Kreider, Alex Pietrangelo, Vladamir Tarasenko, Brandon Saad, and Alex Galchenyuk are but a few of the players who should find their way onto this list in the near future. Owning as many of these young studs will make your fantasy team the envy of your peers today, and for years to come.
This article was originally posted in the FHC Prospectus report. Read the entire guide for free here: http://www.fantasyhockeycoach.com/co...FHC-Prospectus