The Edmonton Oilers’ recent firing of general manager Steve Tambellini does not mean they are set back for another handful of years. Just remember that Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero, who took office in May 2006, did not draft Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, Kris Letang or Evgeni Malkin.
In the short 2012-13 NHL season, Edmonton has flexed plenty of encouraging young talent, even if some have not been the most consistent performers. That franchise is the front-runner, at least from a quantitative standpoint, in the way of full-blooded “90's kids” making their imprint on the league.
Other teams, such as Toronto and the New York Islanders, are all but bound to end their own protracted playoff droughts without further delay. In both cases, there is a prolific scorer born in the autumn of 1990 making a can’t-miss impact on that renaissance run.
Based strictly on their performances in 2013, and especially in the homestretch of the regular season, here are the NHL’s top 20 players born in the 1990s or the latter half of 1989. In essence, anybody who would have been young enough to play for a 14-and-under or 16-and-under championship when Crosby was a rookie.
Unless otherwise indicated, all statistics and player information for this report were found via nhl.com and are through games of Wednesday, April 17.