Sniper Steve Stamkos: Is There a More Dynamic Player in the Game Today?

Joe Gillen@Joe_G16Correspondent INovember 19, 2010

Stamkos scoring his 3rd of the game, in Brett Hull fashion.
Stamkos scoring his 3rd of the game, in Brett Hull fashion.Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Is it safe to say that Tampa Bay Lighting's young superstar, Steven Stamkos is now in the same category as Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby?

Steve Stamkos is coming off of another stellar performance last night against the Philadelphia Flyers. Stamkos finished the night with three goals and two assists for his first five-point game in the NHL.

The Markham, Ontario-born Stamkos has 19 goals along with 16 assists in 19 games. This is pretty impressive for a kid who was left off of the Team Canada Olympic roster in 2010. 

Last season, Stamkos tallied 51 goals and 44 assists in 82 games, tying Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby in goals for tops in the NHL. This shouldn’t be a shock to hockey fans, as Stamkos has always been a highly-touted goal scorer.

In his rookie year, with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League, Stamkos put up impressive numbers, scoring 42 goals and adding 50 helpers.

In 2005-2006, Stamkos put up his most impressive numbers when he was a member of the Markam Waxers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, scoring 105 goals with 92 assists and finishing the campaign with 192 points. I’m sure Steve Stamkos entered the NHL draft in 2008 with confidence and excitement. The Tampa Bay Lighting knew they had their man and wasted little time drafting Stamkos first overall.

I’m sure growing up Tampa Bay wouldn’t have been his first pick of a dream destination to play, since he was a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, but Stamkos knew this was a great opportunity for him to play on a team while they were rebuilding.

After the Lighting won the Stanley Cup in 2004, they lost some key players from their roster and left a lot of doors open for up-and-coming players.

Stamkos wasted little time.

In his rookie season with the Bolts, he scored 23 times and finished the year with 46 points. Year-to-year, Stamkos’ numbers are appreciating with 23 goals in his first season, to 51 goals his next. Where has his recent success come from? Is it the offseason training with former Lighting forward Gary Roberts, or is Stamkos just maturing and learning the NHL game?

One thing is for certain, Stamkos has become one of the game's best and most dynamic players.