That's Subban with Two B's: Names To Remember for the 2010/11 Season
With the NHL Draft next week and free agency set to begin on July 1st, the names of hot shot rookies and big ticket signings are set to dominate the hockey world.
The blogosphere is alive with mock drafts, trade speculations, and free agent wish lists.
So while the average hockey fan is distracted, keep the following names in your back pocket and use the information to stun family and friends with your insight.
For fantasy nerds, this slideshow could be your ticket to title town.
After a great rookie campaign in 2007/08 when he scored 22 goals and 54 points in 81 games, Peter Mueller's output came to a screeching halt.
Finally bottoming out at the beginning of last year, Mueller put up a putrid four goals and 17 points in 54 games.
The surprisingly competitive Coyotes had seen enough and decided to make a deal with the Avalanche, sending the struggling winger to Colorado in exchange for Wojtek Wolski.
Whether it was simply a change of scenery or playing in a new system, Mueller exploded with nine goals and 20 points in just 15 games.
That lost scoring touch? Consider it found.
Mueller will be on a line with either Paul Stastny or Matt Duchene, so he could very well become a point-per-game player.
Anyone who watched the World Junior Championship in 2009 should be well aware of P.K. Subban. He was the tournament's best defenseman and often seemed to be a man among boys with his smart play and poise.
A 2007 second round pick by Montreal, Subban had a small cup of coffee with the big club during the 2009/10 regular season, registering a point in each of his two games.
But after he was called up during the first round of the playoffs to replace an injured Andre Markov, Subban immediately made an impression.
With seven points in 14 playoff games, the expectations are sky high for the kid. But if anyone can handle that kind of pressure, its P.K. Subban.
He has done it before, and with aplomb.
Carl Gunnarson will not set the league aflame. However, he could light a fire under the arse of the Maple Leafs moribund power play.
Considered an all-around defenseman with good puck-moving abilities, Gunnar has the ability to take care of his own end and make a smart outlet pass.
Throw out the "take care of his own end" and who does that sound like? If you said Jeff Finger, please go step in front of a moving car. However, if you said Tomas Kaberle then give yourself a high five.
Settle down, Leaf haters. I'm not saying he'll put up TK type numbers, but he plays a similar game when in the offensive zone.
Also, with Kabs imminent departure, someone has to fill the void. Enter the smooth passing Swede.
John Carlson, or as I like to call him, Johnny Beers, is the now infamous breaker of Canadian World Junior hearts.
I don't like to talk about it, so I'll just move on.
After the Washington Capitals basically barfed all over themselves in the first round of the playoffs, losing to the Canadiens, only a few came away stench free.
One of them was 2008 first round pick Carlson.
Playing restricted minutes during his 22-game NHL debut, Johnny Beers was let loose against the Habs and provided the Caps with one of their few bright spots: four points in seven games while playing smart, aggressive hockey.
This kid looks poised for big things.
Leaf Nation will want to skip this slide. It hurts too much.
After reigning 2009 Vezina Winner Tim Thomas went poopy in his pants, Finnish rookie Tuukka Rask stepped in and slapped a Scandinavian choke hold on the top goalie job.
In 45 regular season games, Rask registered a 22-12 record with a minuscule 1.97 GAA and .931 SV percentage.
He fell back to earth a bit in the playoffs, but still played very well for such an inexperienced goalie. However, it remains to be seen if he can mentally recover from the Boston collapse against Philadelphia.
If he can shake it off, Rask could be lightning in a bottle.
Leaf Nation weeps.
Growing up in Scarborough, Ontario, I'm not surprised to see Wayne Simmonds trying to murder Ryan Sutter in this picture.
It's the Scarborough way.
After a modest rookie campaign in 2008/09 with 23 points in 82 games, Simmonds nearly doubled that output last year with 40 points in 78 games (to go along with a very Scarborough like 112 penalty minutes).
Now with Alex Frolov likely to depart as an unrestricted free agent, there is a void to fill on the top line and power play. Thirty-three goals in his last 60 junior games gives you a glimpse at his potential.
I fully expect this kid to literally punch his way into the conversation.
Besides, although they have different coloured hair, the last Wayne to play in LA did pretty well.