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Every NHL Team's Best Player Under 25 Years Old

Tom Urtz Jr.Contributor IAugust 29, 2013

Every NHL Team's Best Player Under 25 Years Old

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    One of the reasons that NHL hockey is a great sport is because there is never a shortage of young talent entering the league. There are always a number of youngsters such as Taylor Hall tearing it up before they hit their prime, and they keep getting better each and every year.

    The NHL is full of talented players, but here is each team's best player who is under 25 years old.

Anaheim Ducks: Luca Sbisa

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    Luca Sbisa is a talented all-around defender who is blossoming into one of the NHL's top young blueliners. He is 23 years old, and he has played in just under 200 career games.

    The Anaheim Ducks utilize Sbisa as a top-four defender, and his mobility and endurance allowed him to average around 20 minutes a game last season.

Buffalo Sabres: Cody Hodgson

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    Cody Hodgson is a talented center who was acquired by the Buffalo Sabres in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks prior to the 2012 trade deadline. He was once considered the NHL's top prospect, and the 23-year-old pivot has slowly but surely developed into a quality playmaker.

    Last season, Hodgson tallied 34 points in 48 games, and the future appears to be bright for him as his career continues.

Boston Bruins: Dougie Hamilton

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    Dougie Hamilton, who made his NHL debut this past season for the Boston Bruins, has a tremendous set of skills. He has size, poise and is a fluid skater. At his peak, the 21-year-old blueliner could become an All-Star because he has a unique combination of size, skill and mobility. 

     

Calgary Flames: Sven Baertschi

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    Sven Baertschi is a bright spot for the Calgary Flames, and if he lives up to his potential, he could be a great sniper.

    Baertschi has an amazing shot, skilled hands and he is a tremendous skater. He likes to push the envelope with his creativity, and that can be a good thing for the Flames going forward.

    The 21-year-old has a lot of potential, and his career is just getting started.

     

Carolina Hurricanes: Justin Faulk

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    Jordan Staal will turn 25 before the start of the regular season, so standout blueliner Justin Faulk gets the nod here.

    Faulk has impressed in his 104 games of NHL service, and he is a two-way defender with tremendous upside. He is already starting to earn respect as one of the top rearguards on his team, and it will only be a matter of time before he receives league-wide recognition.

     

Chicago Blackhawks: Brandon Saad

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    Patrick Kane is currently 24, but he turns 25 in November. This past season, Brandon Saad was a solid rookie for the Blackhawks, and he was a finalist for the Calder Trophy.

    During the regular season, Saad was a fixture alongside Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, and he showed that he can hold his own with the big boys. The future is bright for Saad, and he already has a Stanley Cup under his belt.

Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene

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    Matt Duchene has had a solid career to date in which he has recorded 193 points in 266 games, including 43 points in 47 games last season. He is the Colorado Avalanche's top pivot, and he is a creative playmaker with tremendous vision.

    In a few years, he will easily be considered one of the NHL's top playmakers because he possesses tremendous poise and control when the puck is on his stick.

     

Columbus Blue Jackets: Tim Erixon

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    Tim Erixon is a talented offensive blueliner that is known for his tremendous skating ability. The Columbus Blue Jackets acquired Erixon in the Rick Nash trade with the New York Rangers last offseason, and he got a brief chance to showcase his skills last season.

    Going forward, Erixon can be counted on to be an all-around big-minutes defender because he is confident and poised for his age.

     

Dallas Stars: Jamie Benn

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    Jamie Benn just turned 24 this past offseason, and he is one of the NHL's top young stars. He is a winger by trade, but he has been playing center the past few years for the Dallas Stars.

    This year, Benn should be a dominant force at his natural position, and don't be surprised if he is a league-leading scorer when the 2013-14 season is in the history books.

Detroit Red Wings: Gustav Nyquist

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    Gustav Nyquist is a young dynamo that is a perfect player for the Detroit Red Wings' system. He is fast, dynamic with the puck and he is a great passer and shooter.

    Nyquist has had an opportunity to learn from Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, and he is quietly becoming one of the NHL's top young, scoring forwards.

Edmonton Oilers: Taylor Hall

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    Taylor Hall will turn 22 this season, and he is still in his "formative" years. His best years are supposedly ahead of him, but he is still one of the NHL's top scorers. Hall is dynamic, he has swagger and is a great offensive player in all situations.

    The sky is the limit for the 2010 first-round draft pick, and he could become an all-time great Oiler once his career is finished.

Florida Panthers: Jonathan Huberdeau

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    Jonathan Huberdeau is only 20 years old, and he is currently one of the NHL's top youngsters. He is the reigning Calder Trophy winner, thanks in large part to the 31 points he put up in 48 games last season.

    Huberdeau's ability to play every forward position makes him versatile, and he's one of the Florida Panthers' most valuable players.

Los Angeles Kings: Drew Doughty

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    Drew Doughty will turn 24 this season, and it will be his fifth season as an NHL player. The Los Angeles King defender has been one of the best players on his team, and he was a clutch contributor during the 2011-12 Stanley Cup run.

    Last season was a bounce back year for Doughty, and it appears that he is on the right track going forward. There are not many defenders in the NHL like Doughty. The best is yet to come for this defender.

Minnesota Wild: Jonas Brodin

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    Jonas Brodin made his mark last season with the Minnesota Wild, and he was arguably snubbed for rookie of the year consideration. The Wild blueliner was paired with Ryan Suter, and he showed he was more than competent in all three zones. 

    Brodin's skating ability and offensive acumen is something that he will likely utilize this season, and he could become a franchise blueliner for Minnesota if he can live up to his potential.

Montreal Canadiens: Alex Galchenyuk

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    Alex Galchenyuk is a talented playmaker and scorer who could be a dark horse to make Team USA's Olympic roster.

    Galchenyuk is only 19 years old, but he is a big-game player who has international experience. He was a key contributor for the Canadiens last season, and his ability to score and set up teammates is second to none. 

    The Canadiens have one of the best youngsters in the world on their roster, and he could become a true superstar if he continues to improve.

     

Nashville Predators: Seth Jones

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    Seth Jones has the size, speed and talent to be a great player at the NHL level. The Nashville Predators stole him at the 2013 NHL draft, and now he will have the chance to play with Shea Weber.

    Jones is a solid all-around talent, and he vowed to make the teams that passed up on him regret their decision. When you factor in all the variables, it is easy to see why Jones is the team's best player under age 25.

     

New Jersey Devils: Adam Henrique

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    Adam Henrique just signed a new contract extension, and the New Jersey Devils were wise to lock him up. He had a rough 2012-13 season, but Henrique is a two-way offensive talent with upside.

    The Devils are going to need all the help they can get now that Ilya Kovalchuk is gone, and Henrique could provide some skill and support on the top line. With new linemates this season, it will take some time to develop chemistry, but look for Henrique to bounce back in 2013-14.

New York Islanders: John Tavares

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    John Tavares is an elite NHL superstar that could become a face of the NHL soon. He is a great offensive player that has taken strides to improve his defensive game.

    The New York Islanders are slowly becoming a contender, and Tavares' dominance has been a major key to their success.

New York Rangers: Ryan McDonagh

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    Ryan McDonagh is one of the best shutdown defenders in the NHL, and he arguably signed one of the best contracts this summer. He is only 24 years old, and he's already off to a solid start of his career. 

    While he is known for his defense primarily, McDonagh is also a subtle offensive player. He has 60 points in 169 games thus far, and that is a solid number considering his lack of power-play time.

    Under new bench boss Alain Vigneault, his production could skyrocket, and that would allow him to garner some Norris Trophy consideration.

Ottawa Senators: Erik Karlsson

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    Erik Karlsson is a superstar defenseman that already has a Norris Trophy on his resume. The speedy Swede is an explosive skater, a skilled passer and a great all-around player.

    Karlsson's defensive game has gotten better with time, and he has adapted well to the NHL since entering the league.

    A freak injury jeopardized Karlsson's career last season, but he was able to make a full recovery ahead of schedule.

Philadelphia Flyers: Sean Couturier

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    Sean Couturier is a 20-year-old two-way center for the Philadelphia Flyers, and he is slowly becoming known as one of the league's top defensive centers. Couturier is an aggressive pursuer of the puck, and he is a great forechecker. 

    He is also a decent offensive player that can be a solid secondary contributor. Couturier was re-signed by the Flyers this offseason, and his best years are still ahead of him. 

Phoenix Coyotes: Oliver Ekman-Larsson

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    One of the reasons that NHL hockey is a great sport is because there is never a shortage of young talent entering the league. There are always a number of youngsters such as Taylor Hall tearing it up before they hit their prime, and they keep getting better each and every year.

    The NHL is full of talented players, but here is each team's best player who is under 25 years old.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Simon Despres

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    Simon Despres is one of the Pittsburgh Penguins' top young blueliners, and he waited a long time until he got a shot at the NHL level. Last year was his first "full" season at the NHL level, and he had an average season.

    He still has a lot to learn, but his offensive acumen and instincts make him an attractive player for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

San Jose Sharks: Logan Couture

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    Logan Couture turned 24 this year, and he is going to be a San Jose Shark for a long time. He was re-signed this offseason, and he could spend the next six seasons in San Jose. The young pivot is a tremendous two-way player, an offensive dynamo and an all-around stud.

    Couture's skills make him one of the best young players in the league, but soon he will be considered a top center at the NHL level.

St. Louis Blues: Alex Pietrangelo

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    One of the reasons that NHL hockey is a great sport is because there is never a shortage of young talent entering the league. There are always a number of youngsters such as Taylor Hall tearing it up before they hit their prime, and they keep getting better each and every year.

    The NHL is full of talented players, but here is each team's best player who is under 25 years old.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos

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    One of the reasons that NHL hockey is a great sport is because there is never a shortage of young talent entering the league. There are always a number of youngsters such as Taylor Hall tearing it up before they hit their prime, and they keep getting better each and every year.

    The NHL is full of talented players, but here is each team's best player who is under 25 years old.

Toronto Maple Leafs: James van Riemsdyk

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    One of the reasons that NHL hockey is a great sport is because there is never a shortage of young talent entering the league. There are always a number of youngsters such as Taylor Hall tearing it up before they hit their prime, and they keep getting better each and every year.

    The NHL is full of talented players, but here is each team's best player who is under 25 years old.

Vancouver Canucks: Zack Kassian

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    Zack Kassian is a power forward for the Vancouver Canucks who is still in the development process. He has some limited success with the Sedin twins this past season, but he cooled down after a hot start. His physicality and toughness make him an asset to the team, but he can increase his value by improving his offensive game.

Washington Capitals: John Carlson

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    One of the reasons that NHL hockey is a great sport is because there is never a shortage of young talent entering the league. There are always a number of youngsters such as Taylor Hall tearing it up before they hit their prime, and they keep getting better each and every year.

    The NHL is full of talented players, but here is each team's best player who is under 25 years old.

Winnipeg Jets: Evander Kane

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    Evander Kane is a very talented goal-scoring winger that has had a great start to his career. He may have his share of attitude problems, but he is an elite offensive talent that is on the verge of becoming a 40-goal scorer.

    Kane's skill makes him a valuable all-around threat when on the ice, and he is slowly becoming one of the league's top goal scorers.

     

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