Potential Stars in the

The rule changes to the NHL will largely benefit some of the faster, more agile players.

by Bardia Sinaee

Update on HTR Season Preview: We’re behind schedule, though not much to worry about as I am positive it will be released in time.

I know many of you sent applications, and the number was overwhelming. So, after selecting some writers there are still a number of positions left and I am willing to re-take applications.

Team positions available: New Jersey, Boston, Ottawa, Montreal, Buffalo, Carolina, Washington, St. Louis, Chicago, Minnesota, Dallas, Tampa Bay and Anaheim. Any questions PM me, thank you, Micki Peroni.Many new rules will change the face of the game and will surely make speed a much more important attribute. No red line, the goalies can’t play the puck behind the net so the fastest player on the ice will get it, and coaches will want that fast player. I have compiled a list of potential stars and superstars that may flourish with the new rules. Here is the rating system:

1 – May flourish (40-50%) if everything goes right, this player needs a lot of hard to work and a long way to go so it’s risky.

2 – Will probably become a star player (60%), will still have to work for it so there is still a chance of being an NHL bust.

3 – Consistency is the only thing needed to be a star (70%), extra work not needed – just stay on track – unless something goes wrong, he will be a star.

4 – Everything is in place for stardom (85%), tons of potential and plenty of talent. Just need to stay away from serious injuries and he’ll be a star.

5 – This kid has so much potential they already got someone protecting him, (95%), the only thing stopping this kid from superstardom is the possibility of a string of serious injuries (see: Lindros)

A – 25-30 goals per season (usually) – 20-25 pts for D – Comparison: Mariusz Czercawski

B – 30-35 goals per season (usually) – 30-35 pts for D – Comparison: Alexei Kovalev

C – 35-45 goals per season (usually) – 35-35 pts for D – Comparison: Milan Hejduk

D – 45-55 goals per season (usually) – 45-55 pts for D – Comparison: Steve Yzerman (in early ’90s) or Niklas Lidstrom for D

E – Scores around or over 60 goals most seasons. – 60+ pts for D – Comparison: Mario Lemieux (mid ’80s to mid ’90s)

Players with * have yet to play play an NHL game. List is in no particular order: (Best possible is 5E – worst is 1A)

TB – Nikita Alexeev – 2B – Blazing speed and decent size; just needs to get back on track and get good minutes.

TB – Ruslan Fedotenko – 3A – Already scoring above average, all he needs is to grow consistently the way he has been doing.

LA – Alexander Frolov – 4C – Proved he can score like a top 6 player last season, he’s young and fast and has all the tools.

WAS – *Alexander Ovechkin – 5D – Has the speed, size and talent, and the new NHL gives him yet another edge.

WAS – *Alexander Semin – 4D – “Such good hands it’s scary” along with speed/agility, overshadowed by Ovechkin (both LW).

BUF – Maxim Afinogenov – 3B – Already a proven scorer, needs better linemates and consistency and that’s it.

TOR – Karel Pilar – 1B – A replica of Tom Poti, he has the size and speed to score 35+ points, but he needs the minutes.

NY – Jamie Lundmark – 2A – Will never reach initial expectations, but he has the skills to be a top 6 guy.

NY – Ville Neiminen – 1A – Has great talent and endurance, just needs consistency, new NHL should benefit him.

CLB – Rostislav Klesla – 4D – Both offensive and defensive, fast, big, if he gets to play alongside Foote, expect a lot.

CLB – Nikolai Zherdev – 4C – Very fast and talented European, playing with Nash and eventually Brule will make this kid a star.

DET – Niklas Kronwall – 4D – Like a young fast Lidstrom, scores a lot, but he barely weighs 180, weight aside, he’s a likely star.

NAS – Adam Hall – 1A – Has the speed/talent to be a top 6 guy, but he needs to be more consistent with his play.

NAS – Marek Zidlicky – 4D – A D-man who already passed the 50 pt mark, is quick and will score even more with the new rules.

UFA – Vladimir Orszagh – 2A – Small and fast, high scoring but he needs good minutes to pass 50 pts, lot of potential.

COL – *Wojtek Wolski – 4C – Talented fast European, the faster NHL could make him Colorado’s next Hejduk.

EDM – Ales Hemsky – 3C – More of a passer, but still very fast and talented, on the right track, just needs to work hard.

VAN – Ryan Kesler – 4C – A lot like Bertuzzi, power forwards this young are a rarity, probable top line power forward like Todd.

VAN – Daniel/Henrik Sedin – 4B – These guys had great seasons but are aging, now is their time for stardom, very talented.

CHI – Tuomo Ruutu – 4D – Often overlooked, very fast/talented in every area, could be huge with Bell and Arnason.

PHX – Ladislav Ngy – 3B – Already had a breakout season, but the new NHL can increase this speedster’s potential even more.

SJ – Nils Ekman – 3A – A proven scorer, new rules will help him, just needs to be consistent after a great season in ’04.

SJ – Alexander Korolyuk – 3C – Talent was shown last season, new rules would’ve helped him, but he signed to play in Europe.

SJ – Jonathan Cheechoo – 4D – A speedy, natural scorer, this kid can only improve, expect a ton of scoring from him.

NJ – *Zach Parise – 4C – Another flash of brilliance by the Devils’ drafting, Zach will largely benefit from the new rules.

There’s my list, please keep in mind that there are outer obstacles that may affect these players’ careers:

examples: Afinogenov could’ve already been a star, but was pushed back by Miro Satan who played the same position

Alexander Semin has all the tools to be a first line star, but Ovechkin playing LW will overshadow Semin and almost definitely prevent him from being a first liner (in Washington at least).

Karel Pilar can developed into a top 4 offensive d-man, but the Leafs management’s constant acquisitions prevent Pilar from getting the minutes he needs.

As always, I’m open to all suggestions, comments, and additions, email me at: bardia.sinaee@gmail.com


40 Responses to Potential Stars in the

  1. Adam_0486 says:

    Great posting & clever system of grading…I would like to add guys like Fedor Fedorov, Patrice Bergeron & Jordin Tootoo to the list.

    More ice will help a fast kid like Fedorov and it would set up more open ice (head down) hits for Tootoo (A.K.A the Scott Stevens Special).

    P.S On an unrelated topic, does anyone know of a good site that has complete player contracts including terms of contract (i.e. $/Yrs) and team salaries.

  2. Habfanforever says:

    Some of the Habs:

    Richard Zednik: 2A

    Alexei Kovalev: 3B

    Jan Bulis: 1A

    Saku Koivu: 3A

    Andrei Markov: 4C

    Sheldon Souray: 3B

  3. DTucker_16 says:

    I was listening to Leafs TV today, and apparently Karel Pilar has had more problems with his heart…Nobody really knows all of the details though.

  4. bardia says:

    just to clear it up the title is “Potential Stars in the New NHL”

    iv herd the same, before i posted the article, he almost died from an illness a few years ago and has recovered wonderfully, he’s got tons of potential and everyone is wishing that this new condition isnt serious, he’s a great guy.

    and to answer the guy who asked for a site about teh contracts: go to http://www.nhlpa.com and click on “the players”

  5. Sundinfan says:

    What’s the point of having an E rating if you nobody has that rating?

  6. bardia says:

    lol i wanted to have 5 numbers and 5 letters

  7. distance7 says:

    Martin Erat

  8. TMLsundin says:

    Sadly, Karel Pilar likely wont be playing this year.. and may be forced to retire. It was reported in the Czech Republic today that his heart condition is back. He has a problem with a valve in his heart, which is a serious problem for an athlete.

  9. xnavydoc75 says:

    I have to add three more names from the Penguins

    Ryan Malone…3B….he is big and has a nose for the net.

    Ryan Whitney….4C…Great passer and lots of speed

    Tomas Surovy….2B…..Has excellent skills, needs to be on a new team besides Penguins

  10. habswinthecup-again says:

    Ribeiro: 3B

    Ryder: 3C

    Markov:3D

    Perezhogin: 4C

    Hainsey: 2D

  11. habswinthecup-again says:

    Wouldn’t Crosby get a 5E?

  12. harry1616 says:

    dude ryan kesler is no powerforward. If you compare him to anyone it would be a Modano at best.

    Kesler however will never have the scoring ability of a Modano imo.

  13. muckies says:

    You know nothing about hockey because goalies CAN PLAY the puck behind the net.

    Nice try.

    Speed on the ice is created by PASSING quickly, not by skating quickly

    P.S. your list was/is crap,

  14. Habfanforever says:

    he should not scre around with that. unless he sees a specialist and gets it fixed, it would be dangerous, if not deadly for him to play. hocky does not need another one of these casualties.

  15. AltersEgo says:

    I think your post is one of the most ignorant posts I have ever read on HTR. If you say someone doesn’t know hockey, please elaborate. I could say you’re an idiot, and leave it at that. It just doesn’t make sense without an explanation.

  16. muckies says:

    its all in their,

    GOALIES CAN HANDLE THE PUCK BEHIND THE NET, and speedy players don’t get behind defencemen in the NHL, the defencemen aere “speedy” too.

    And like i said, you can have the fastest skating team in the league, but if you don’t break out of your zone with quick passes and get the puck up to your forwards, you have no team speed.

    thats why fast players don’t make it, and slow players with good positioning do.

    So whats your take on this?

  17. DomiforPrimeMinister says:

    Not sure but I would the the NHLPA website would contain all that info.

  18. muckies says:

    *****in’ eh dude, Spezza-man is due for a big year. he will be on the first Power Play unit and will probably get about 75 points and be an All-Star, and there will be talk he makes team Canada for the Olympics, but he won’t

  19. muckies says:

    Tie Domi is an ass

  20. koho says:

    You can’t make ‘speedy passes’ unless people find open ice and skating speed definately helps get players in those positions easier. So if you think that speedy players don’t facilitate speedy play you ‘may’ not know anything about hockey.

  21. islesdynasty says:

    Mattias Weinhandl – This guy is slept on by everyone!!! He will be a major force as he will most probably be playing alongside Yashin and Satan as steve Stiriling has indicated. Anyone who has watched him play knows that he has star caliber instincts to go along with a wickedly accurate shot (wrist, snap and slap) and,also, shifty, quick and fast skating skills. He also shows a knack for making plays in tight areas with sure hands and a finesse passers touch. This guy is going to break out in major way, if you don’t consider leading the Swedish Elite League in goals last season a break out already.

  22. TMLsundin says:

    Especially since what happened with Sergei Zholtok earlier this year.

  23. muckies says:

    O.K. buddy,

    we are talking about team speed here, of course having fast skaters makes your team more threatening and backs up the D, but speedy players aren’t going to be blowing by NHL defenceman, its not a foot race in the NHL, teams play with 5 guys on the ice and you just don’t skate past people defenceman in this league.

    And even if they did goalies can play the puck behind the net.

    the fastest players in the NHL, Hossa, Iginla etc never skate past NHL defenceman – ever – to get to a puck.

  24. Flyer_Dman says:

    I like the post, but why did you make all the ratings backwards?

  25. Deke says:

    took the words right outta my mouth

  26. eric_empire says:

    The Devils have som good potential here…

    Brian Giota 2B

    Scott Gomez 3C

    Alexander Suglobov 4B

    Paul Martin 4D

  27. robinson19 says:

    Given pure talent versus being too light in the old NHL, I’d say one of the biggest benefactors IF the new reffing is consistant (which I’m sceptical about) could be Mike Ribeiro.

  28. CBA says:

    Great article. Very well researched, good job.

  29. koho says:

    OK buddy,

    I don’t know if you have ever seen hockey, but there are things called breakaways in which a forward player gets behind the oppositions defenece men. And with the lack of a red line players will be behind the defence men on breakaways more often. I don’t know why your are so hell bent on claiming that speed players won’t have a better chance to showcase that skill with the new rules. Furthermore, the faster guys will be even faster with the crackdown on obstruction and the game will be faster. But you know that you are hockey wise.

  30. shifterdarkwolf says:

    No love for Shane Doan? This kid is one of the fastest guys in the NHL, he proved that durring the last All-Star game. Consistantly putting out increasing numbers of points, he is a natural scorer 4C at worst.

  31. quick_stick says:

    Just a small correction… Goalies can play the puck behind the net… just not in two newly created zones in either corner behind the redline. Check nhl.com …there is a pretty cool video from NHL 06 on there explaining the new rule changes. Cheers.

  32. xnavydoc75 says:

    Muckie, you are a retard. Speed didn’t make much difference before because nobody could get speed in the nuetral zone because they had someone hooking them and holding their jersey. With no red line and no obstuction, those fast players will be the first ones open to take that lead breakout pass and if not, they will be backing the entire defense up to prevent a breakaway and odd man rush…..that means the slow guys (kinda like you only different) will be open too because everyone will be trying to stay in front of the fast guys. Do you get it now? The trap is going to die when teams put speedy cherry pickers on the blue line just waiting to get a puck off the boards and take it down clean. Somebody is going to have to gueard those guys. When everyone is standing still, fast players arent going to skate around anyone without deking them, but when players are already at full speed coming into the zone, those slow, poor skating guys will be falling all over the ice trying to stop that rush because they cant turn and skate with the guy. Or else they will grab them and pull them down and sit in the sin bin for two minutes…..If the refs call the games right that is.

  33. goleafsgo1991 says:

    Crosby?

  34. Havlat_hasit says:

    obviously we need to include havlat in this…. he’s gotta replace alot of Hossa’s production and given the crackdown on obstruction im sure he’ll flourish

  35. Milohabs says:

    dissagree about Ribeiro. This guy is a 4C – He has so much talent. I’ve seen him play live several times, and he just blows me away with what he can do with the puck and a little open ice. Can’t wait to see him under new rules. Look for Mikey Ribs to be in the top 20 scorers of the NHL (Along with a healthy Koivu, Kovalev and maybe even Ryder).

  36. muckies says:

    RIGHT,

    WELL IF YOU HAVE EVER WATCHED A GAME WITHOUT A RED-LINE, WHICH I’M SURE YOU HAVE SEEING ALL THESE SLOW DEFENCEMAN GETTING BLOWN AWAY BY SPEEDY PLAYERS YOU WILL KNOW THAT THE GUY THAT TELLS THE PLAYERS WHAT TO DO, (IN THE NHL WE CALL THEM COACHES) WILL SIMPLY GET THERE D TO BACK UP SO THEY WON’T GET CAUGHT.

    NOW WHAT YOU HAVE IS A TRAP MOVED FURTHER BACK, SOUNDS SIMPLE RIGHT, RIGHT.

    AND AS FAR AS PLAYERS CHERRY PICKING THE BLUE-LINE FOR PASSES, NOT UNLESS A TEAM IS LOSING BY 2 OR MORE GOALS. THE ONLY PLAYER THAT HAS DONE THAT IN THE PAST 10 YEARS IS NASH AND HE ONLY DID IT BECAUSE HIS TEAM WAS ALWAYS LOSING SO IT DIDN’T MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

    AND THE COACHES (THE GUYS BEHIND THE BENCH) WON’T ALLOW THEIR SKATERS TO BE IN THE NEUTRAL ZONE OR CHERRY PICKING THE BLUE LINE WHEN THE OPPOSING TEAM IS IN THEIR DEFENSIVE ZONE, (UNLESS THEY ARE LOSING BY MORE THEN 2 GOALS), BECAUSE THEY DON’T WANT THERE TEAM TO GET SCORED ON, AT BEST OFFENSIVE PLAYERS WILL HUG THE BLUE LINE IN HOPES OF GETTING A PUCK CHIPPED OUT AND A RACE BEGINNING, BUT AGAIN THE D IN THIS LEAGUE ARE GOOD, AND RARELY DO YOU EVER SEE DEFENCEMAN GET OUT RACED.

    AND IN THE NHL, PLAYERS ARE NEVER STANDING STILL, THE COACH (GUY BEHIND THE BENCH) MAKES SURE PLAYERS ALWAYS HAVE THEIR FEET MOVING.

    BUT I GUESS IF YOUR BRAIN THINKS ALL THE DEFENCEMAN ARE SLOW AND STANDING AROUND, AND TRYING TO GRAB PEOPLES JERSEYS, THIS WOULD MAKE SENSE IN YOUR MIND. BUT IT WON’T HAPPEN, JUST WATCH

  37. muckies says:

    MY GOOD OLD BUDDY KOHO,

    YOU SEEM TO THINK THAT NOW THEY HAVE TAKEN OUT THE RED-LINE ALL THE DEFENCEMAN WILL SIMPLY BE PLAYING THE GAME THE OLD WAY. PRETENDING THE RED-LINE IS THERE AND GETTING BURNED BY ALL THE PLAYERS SKATING BEHIND THEM.

    IF YOU HAD A COACHING JOB, AND THERE WAS A CHANCE SPEED FORWARDS COULD GET BEHIND YOUR D WHAT WOULD YOU SAY.

    YOU WOULD TELL THEM TO BACK UP SO THEY DON’T GET CAUGHT.

    THE OTHER POINT NOBODY SEEMS TO SEE IS GOALIES CAN’T PLAY THE PUCK IN THE SLOT, WHICH MEENS A PUCK IN THE SLOT HAS TO BE PLAYED BY A D OR THE OPPOSING FORWARD.

    SO THE D WILL BACK UP TO MAKE SURE ANY PUCKS IN THE SLOT THEY WILL GET TO.

    NOW THATS HOCKEY

  38. Marky2Fresh says:

    Hey we need 1 more person for our Yahoo league.

    League ID number is 8513

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