Ok, so it is still a lengthy period of time until the regular season (if there even is one) commences, but I thought I’d write a piece on who I think is due for a major breakthrough season this year. I listed one full line of the players I think are due for a huge season, including a goalie. Readers feel free to share your opinions on my selections, and list who you think will have a breakout season.
Jason Spezza Well this is sort of an obvious selection. He’s always been a major prospect and during the last year and a half he’s displayed hockey sense that only the greats have. You throw in the fact that Bonk has been dealt away and the organization has fired the “anti-spezza” coach Jacques Martin, Spezza has all the pieces in place. He will be the #1 center on the already deadly Senators powerplay. At the very least Spezza will be a point a game, probably even more.
Marek Svatos Ok not many people have heard of this guy, but he had a sensational playoff with the avalanche last year, and scored big goals. He looks extremely gifted and should flourish on the highly-talented avalanche squad.
Martin Erat Some might say he had his breakthrough season last year when he had 49 points. But I only see this kid getting better and will put up big time numbers. He is already Nashville’s best LW, and gets a lot of ice. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him lead Nashville in points.
Ric Jackman I only say this guy, because last year after being traded by Toronto he ac¢umulated 24 points in 25 games with the penguins. He had 6 points in 29 games with the leafs. And then you add a healthy Lemieux and recchi to pittsburgh, and Jackman could be putting some very impressive numbers.
Marc-Andre Bergeron Last year he was able to achieve 26 points in 54 games for the oil. That’s pretty impressive numbers for a defenceman in his first NHL season. I remember being impressed with him 2 years ago, in the playoffs against Dallas. He’s a smooth skating defenceman that makes highlight reel checks. He sees a lot of time on the powerplay as well. He should get close to 45 points, if he plays a full season.
Rick Dipietro With a little playoff experience under his belt, and a decent season last year the Isles will no doubt go with Dipietro as their #1. It takes goalies longer to develop into stars, and it is now time for Dipietro to start living up to expectations. The islanders need him to take them to the next level.