Top 23 Under 23: 2009-2010 Preseason Update

Miikeee D.Correspondent ISeptember 25, 2009

top-23-under-23-blues

Recently, I have been trying to re-build my fantasy hockey team, but have found limited resources. For baseball, I usually rely on Project Prospect, which wonderfully outlines all of the top talent in the Majors. Please visit the site for in-depth analysis on the game’s future. I will attempt to build a similar list as their Top 25 Under 25, except for hockey.

As opposed to Project Prospect, who uses the age of 25, I will use 23. The reason being is because hockey is a younger sport. While baseball players tend to break out around 27, hockey players usually do at 24-25. Therefore, I am providing you a list with guys who have not reached their prime yet, but will in the next 1-3 seasons.

The first part of the series was done at the end of last season. This list will be updated at the end of every month and will track the progress of the next generation of NHL stars.

Graduated: Evgeni Malkin (1)

PlayerPrev.TeamAgeComments
1. Sidney Crosby2PIT22Top 3 player in the game.
2. Nicklas Backstrom3WSH21AO helps, but still one of the best playmakers
3. Jonathan Toews4CHI22Destined to be next Stevie Y
4. Steve Mason6CLB21Won Calder, Vezina within 2-3 years.
5. Patrick Kane5CHI21Has to mature. Already facing pressure.
6. Bobby Ryan13ANA22Very successful ‘09. Great chance this season.
7. Steven Stamkos9TB19Growing up fast. Going to have a great year.
8. Anze Kopitar7LAK22Took a step back last year. 80+ point potential.
9. Phil Kessel11TOR21Unbelievable ‘09. Can he score 30 w/o Savard?
10. Bryan Little16ATL21The most under-rated 31 goals in history.
11. Claude Giroux10PHI21Great playoffs. Forsberg with healthy ankles.
12. John Tavares8NYI19Believe the hype, but temper expectations.
13. Carey Price14MON22Let down ‘09 season. Still franchise material.
14. Devin Setoguchi17SJ22Thornton-Heatley-Seto could be NHL’s best.
15. Sam Gagner15EDM20Only 20 entering 3rd season. His time is now.
16. Kyle Okposo12NYI22Awesome 2nd half in ‘09. Great line w/ Tavares
17.Derick Brassard19CLB22If healthy, he will make a HUGE jump this year.
18. Kris LetangPIT22Will finally get regular minutes.
19. TJ Oshie20StL22The Blues will be very good this year. So will TJ.
20. Victor HedmanTB18May take a few years, but bonifide keeper for TB.
21. Michael FrolikHMFLA19Very underated breakout ‘09: 43 pts in final 60!
22. Nikita Filatov22CLB19On big club this year. Big time scorer next year.
23. Zach BogosianATL19Full season to show offensive D potential
Honourable Mention    
Patrik Berglund21StL21Captain material. Will be very good for long time.
James Van RiemsdykHMPHI20On the brink of making team and making impact.
Peter Mueller23PHO22Sophomore slump in ‘09. Lots to prove this year.
Erik JohnsonStL20A healthy former #1 will be very productive. Very.
Matt DucheneCOL18NHL ready? We’ll see.
Kyle Turris18PHO20Forced onto big club in ‘09. Starting in AHL.
Cody HodgsonHMVAN19CHL’s best player. NHL ready.
Jakub VoracekHMCLB20Could be a big breakout this season.
Drew DoughtyLAK19Great defensively, great offensively.
David PerronStL21Maturing quickly. ‘09-’10 will be impact season.

Related: April 2008 – 23 Under 23