Frolik: Ready to Break Out
These players are poised to take off and serve notice to players and fans alike that they have arrived. They are the right guys in the right place on a club that is an ideal fit for them. While all of them are very talented, being in a great situation this year could do wonders for their careers.
Claude Giroux, F, Philadelphia: An exciting one-on-one player, Giroux can dangle the puck with the best of them and is equally dangerous as a scorer or playmaker. He is an excellent stick handler with great imagination and hockey instincts. He likes to hold onto the puck that extra second, which creates scoring chances for him and his teammates.
Michael Frolik, RW, Florida: Being blessed with quick hands makes Frolik a natural to put pucks in the net. He has excellent offensive instincts, dynamic feet, superb speed and acceleration, and a good shot. The young Czech has also shown great poise, and will be on the brink of hitting the next level this season.
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Zach Bogosian, D, Atlanta: Has gotten better every year and has improved his goal and point output, along with his overall defensive play. Is well on his way to becoming an elite point producer and one of the best blueliners in the NHL. He’s an incredible skater with outstanding hockey sense, who knows when to join the attack and when to concentrate on his defensive responsibilities.
Jakub Voracek, RW, Columbus: A responsible defensive player who has top notch offensive instincts. He’s an explosive skater with excellent puck handling skills and a natural goal scorer’s touch. He needs to continue to get stronger but is gradually getting there. He’ll notch his first 60-point season this year.
Colin Wilson, C, Nashville: With the team’s offseason moves, it’s almost a given that the youngster will start the season as the club’s second line pivot, with an opportunity to maybe even become the go-to guy on the top line. After posting a very modest 15 points in 35 games as a rookie, look for Wilson to make a huge leap, and possibly surpass the 50-point plateau.
Erik Karlsson, D, Ottawa: After not seeing much ice time early in the season, the young Swede got confident as the season wore on, and eventually starting to see important minutes down the stretch. In fact, Karlsson put up 18 points in the team’s final 23 games. With Sergei Gonchar now in the fold, look for the 20-year-old to learn a lot in terms of offensive and defensive awareness from the veteran Russian, and that could skyrocket to 50-point production, as soon as this season.