Defenseman: Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators
Erik Karlsson's 2013 season was shortened to 17 games because of a torn Achilles, but that won't prevent him from being the league's top offensive defenseman when he starts next year fully healthy.
The Senators star tallied 78 points in 2011-12 to win the Norris Trophy and could post anywhere from 65-80 points next season for an Ottawa team with impressive scoring depth when healthy.
No defenseman in the NHL has better playmaking or skating skills than the 23-year-old from Sweden.
Defenseman: P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens
The 2013 Norris Trophy winner took major strides defensively last season to become a reliable two-way defenseman. Subban also tied for the league lead in scoring among defensemen with 38 points, and his seven power-play goals were the second-most by a defenseman last season.
As a smooth-skating defenseman with amazing puck-moving skills, expect the Canadiens star to shatter his career high of 38 points next year. Despite having a very successful three-year career in the NHL thus far, Subban still has plenty of room for improvement.
Goaltender: Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
Tuukka Rask earned an eight-year, $56 million contract last week largely because of his remarkable 2013 season.
The 26-year-old proved his ability to be an elite No. 1 goalie with a 19-10-5 record, while also ranking third in save percentage (.929), fifth in GAA (2.00) and first in shutouts (five). In fact, no goaltender since the 2004-05 lockout has a better save percentage than Rask (among players with 100-plus games played).
In the playoffs, Rask led the league with a .940 save percentage and three shutouts in helping the Bruins reach the Stanley Cup Final.
Rask proved he could perform at an elite level consistently last season, despite the significant amount of pressure put on his shoulders as the starting goalie of a championship contender. There's no reason to believe that Rask will fail to improve next season as he enters the prime of his career.
Nicholas Goss is an NHL Lead Writer at Bleacher Report. He was also a credentialed writer at the 2011 and 2013 Stanley Cup Final, as well as the 2013 NHL draft.