Players on the rise. Players on the verge. Players who are about to become legitimate superstars.
There are several ways to get to this level. Some players develop year by year and become superstars after several seasons.
Some players have so much talent that they have an impact as soon as they join the league.
Still others masquerade as average players before the light goes on and they join an elite class of players.
Joining the list of top scorers in the league does not qualify a player as a superstar. A player like Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz may be eighth in the league in scoring, but he is not a superstar. He is a decent player off to a hot start.
We also think that's the case with Buffalo's Thomas Vanek. He may appear to be a superstar since he is leading the league in scoring, but consistency and overall effort have never been his strong suits.