Next in Line: Steven Stamkos Should Be In Discussion of NHL's Top Player

Svyato RovenchukSenior Writer IJuly 17, 2010

UNIONDALE, NY - FEBRUARY 13:  Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the New York Islanders on February 13, 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Isles defeated the Lightning 5-4.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

It’s clear to any hockey fan that Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby are the NHL’s poster boys. They are arguably the two best players in the NHL today.

The debate will continue on as to who is actually better of the two, but these two get all the media attention for being the best players in the game today.

Although I do not disagree that these players are certainly very talented and gifted in the sport of hockey, I do think there are plenty of players who do not get enough recognition because of these two.

Guys like Jonathan Toews, Zach Parise, Anze Kopitar, and probably the biggest person I can think of, Steven Stamkos.

I’m sure most of you know of Steven Stamkos.

Like Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, Stamkos is a young, talented player that should be a great leader for his team over the next few years. Stamkos is continuing to get better and last season, it was very evident.

Stamkos finished fifth in the points bracket last season with an impressive total of 95 points. The highlight of the breakout season for this young superstar was the 51 goals scored by Stamkos that season which had him tied with Sidney Crosby for the most goals of the 09/10 NHL season.

He has shown some great promise considering he is in his second season in the National Hockey League. Plus, it’s a big step up from his first season when he socred only 49 points.

Stamkos was taken first overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning, and there’s no doubt they made the right move that day. Stamkos dominated the OHL with his incredible play and there is no reason that he won’t be able to do the same in the NHL.

The Lightning are going to be a team on the rise for the next few years, and Stamkos will be a big part of Tampa’s climb out of the Eastern Conference basement. 

Going into his third NHL season, Stamkos will be heavily looked upon to put up some big numbers for the Lightning as they try to make the playoffs. 

Stamkos could also potentially be a great captain for the Tampa Bay Lightning. It would be interesting to see if Vincent Lecavalier is stripped of the captaincy again. Bestowing some leadership upon this young man should encourage Stamkos to keep producing like he did last season.

As soon as the puck drops the lights will shine brightly upon this young man. Whether he will embrace the work load or choke under the spotlight is up for discussion, but if you ask me, he’ll do just fine.  

Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby will certainly be big competition in the playoffs for young Stamkos and the Lightning.

Whether Stamkos will be a superstar that can be counted upon in clutch situations like Sidney Crosby or one that will choke like Ovechkin will be a big factor in Stamkos’ legacy as a hockey superstar. 

However, the kid is still young, he has plenty of years to mold into the superstar many, including myself expect him to be.

To be honest though, I don’t really think that will take too long. Sure it’s a challenge to adapt yourself to the NHL game, Stamkos’ rather weak showing in his debut year proved that, but this kid will go far. 

So all of you out there can have your Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin or whoever you may choose, because I got myself the man known as Steven Stamkos.

This article was originally posted on The Sports Dossier under the name " Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, How About Steven Stamkos? ." Check out more great pieces from our talented staff of writers.

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