Every season in the NHL there are always a few rookies or sophomore players who seem to burst onto the scene from out of nowhere to put up big points. We call these players breakout stars and while there’s no surefire way to determine exactly WHO will break out in a given year, we can at least take a look at the most likely candidates and hope that at least a few of them establish themselves as stars in 2017-18.
Three years ago who had ever heard of Matt Murray or John Klingberg? Or how about Nikita Kucherov and Johnny Gaudreau in 15-16? Last year it was Zach Werenski, Leon Draisaitl and David Pastrnak who all exploded for big points. So, who will break out in 2017-17? Here’s out list of the top 10 candidates:
10 - Dylan Strome - Arizona Coyotes
9 - Travis Konecny - Philadelphia Flyers
8 - Josh Ho-Sang - New York Islanders
7 - Sam Reinhart - Buffalo Sabres
6 - Sam Bennett - Calgary Flames
5 - Jesse Puljujarvi - Edmonton Oilers
4 - Mikko Rantanen - Colorado Avalanche
3 - Charlie McAvoy - Boston Bruins
2 - Matthew Tkachuk - Calgary Flames
1 - Jonathan Drouin - Montreal Canadiens
What do you think? Anyone too high or too low on our list?