2013 Breakout Candidates
by, 01-09-2013 at 04:06 (14434 Views)
Jordan Staal- Hurricanes- reunited with his brother Eric in Carolina, Stall will finally get to play a top six role on a full time basis. You can expect a jump from his career average of .58 points per game to somewhere around .9 points per game. Also, as anyone with a brother or sister will attest to, never discount the power of sibling rivalry.
Kyle Turris- Senators- having been granted a trade from Phoenix, where he clearly wasn't happy, Turris is primed for a big year in the nations capital. At 23, his best years are still ahead of him and playing between Swedish stars Daniel Alfreddsson and Jakob Silfverberg is a great jumpoff point. Look for 30-35 points in this shortened season.
Cody Hodgson- Sabres- full time, number one center duties will automatically increase your numbers. Combine that with new linemates, Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville, and the sky is the limit. Ultra-talented and away from the day to day pressure of a big hockey market like Vancouver, Hodgson will have his best season yet. 35 points is likely.
Justin Schultz- Oilers- his pro stats are amazing already with 48 points in 34 games in the AHL. A slick, skilled rearguard, Schultz has the incredible ability to get his shot through traffic and on the net as evidenced by his 18 goals this season so far. Temper expectations as he adjusts to life in the NHL, but with the talent this Oiler team has assembled, half a point per game isn't out of the question.
Victor Hedman- Lightning- big, strong, smart and talented, Hedman is the total package on defense and eastern conference teams should take note, he's starting to figure out the offensive side of the game. With the offensive clout of Stamkos, Purcell,Lecavalier and St. Louis, Hedman has increased his points per game average every year so expect another jump to around half a point per game.
Corey Crawford- Blackhawks- this is the year for Crawford to stake his claim as the number one goalie in Chicago. At 27 years old, Crawford has the maturity and with two full seasons under his belt, the experience, to take that starters job and leave no doubt he's ready to lead the 'Hawks back into contention. A deep playoff run is a must to silence his critics and the short season is the perfect time to do it.