Several young NHL skaters, each with no more than one or two seasons in the league to their credit, are not certified big-timers…yet.
Rookies and sophomores alike faced an unusual bump in the road as they tried to lay out or start building on their NHL foundations in the 2012-13 campaign. The four-month lockout forced them to indefinitely step back a level in either the amateur or minor professional ranks and then hastily acclimate or re-acclimate to the majors.
Even in a normal, full-length, 82-game season, a shortage of experience may have still delayed the celestial breakout for many of these promising players. After all, nobody made excuses for the three 2013 Calder Trophy finalists―Brendan Gallagher, Jonathan Huberdeau and Brandon Saad.
Huberdeau, by the way, is as good as an established star after the conclusion of his first season. He seamlessly transitioned from a winning cause in major junior, where he posted 45 points in 30 games during the lockout, to a floundering Florida franchise in the pros, where he finished second on the basement-dwellers’ chart with a 14-17-31 scoring log.
Come what may, every forward on the following list should have the internal and external means to put forth a breakout campaign―statistical and otherwise―in 2013-14. In addition, there is one defenseman who has spent the better part of the last two years in the NHL and is steadily building up to a top-pairing caliber.
Unless otherwise indicated, all statistics for this report were found via nhl.com