Top 23 Under 23: 2009-2010 Preseason Update

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Top 23 Under 23: 2009-2010 Preseason Update

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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)

Player Prev. Team Age Comments
1. Sidney Crosby 2 PIT 22 Top 3 player in the game.
2. Nicklas Backstrom 3 WSH 21 AO helps, but still one of the best playmakers
3. Jonathan Toews 4 CHI 22 Destined to be next Stevie Y
4. Steve Mason 6 CLB 21 Won Calder, Vezina within 2-3 years.
5. Patrick Kane 5 CHI 21 Has to mature. Already facing pressure.
6. Bobby Ryan 13 ANA 22 Very successful ‘09. Great chance this season.
7. Steven Stamkos 9 TB 19 Growing up fast. Going to have a great year.
8. Anze Kopitar 7 LAK 22 Took a step back last year. 80+ point potential.
9. Phil Kessel 11 TOR 21 Unbelievable ‘09. Can he score 30 w/o Savard?
10. Bryan Little 16 ATL 21 The most under-rated 31 goals in history.
11. Claude Giroux 10 PHI 21 Great playoffs. Forsberg with healthy ankles.
12. John Tavares 8 NYI 19 Believe the hype, but temper expectations.
13. Carey Price 14 MON 22 Let down ‘09 season. Still franchise material.
14. Devin Setoguchi 17 SJ 22 Thornton-Heatley-Seto could be NHL’s best.
15. Sam Gagner 15 EDM 20 Only 20 entering 3rd season. His time is now.
16. Kyle Okposo 12 NYI 22 Awesome 2nd half in ‘09. Great line w/ Tavares
17.Derick Brassard 19 CLB 22 If healthy, he will make a HUGE jump this year.
18. Kris Letang PIT 22 Will finally get regular minutes.
19. TJ Oshie 20 StL 22 The Blues will be very good this year. So will TJ.
20. Victor Hedman TB 18 May take a few years, but bonifide keeper for TB.
21. Michael Frolik HM FLA 19 Very underated breakout ‘09: 43 pts in final 60!
22. Nikita Filatov 22 CLB 19 On big club this year. Big time scorer next year.
23. Zach Bogosian ATL 19 Full season to show offensive D potential
Honourable Mention        
Patrik Berglund 21 StL 21 Captain material. Will be very good for long time.
James Van Riemsdyk HM PHI 20 On the brink of making team and making impact.
Peter Mueller 23 PHO 22 Sophomore slump in ‘09. Lots to prove this year.
Erik Johnson StL 20 A healthy former #1 will be very productive. Very.
Matt Duchene COL 18 NHL ready? We’ll see.
Kyle Turris 18 PHO 20 Forced onto big club in ‘09. Starting in AHL.
Cody Hodgson HM VAN 19 CHL’s best player. NHL ready.
Jakub Voracek HM CLB 20 Could be a big breakout this season.
Drew Doughty LAK 19 Great defensively, great offensively.
David Perron StL 21 Maturing quickly. ‘09-’10 will be impact season.

Related: April 2008 – 23 Under 23 

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