The Darkhorses of the 02-03 season

Here is a list of two players per team that I think will have breakout years this year. Part 1.Anaheim: Vitali Vishneviski, Paul Kariya

Vishnevski will evolve into one of the NHL’s top d-men. Kariya will flourish this year playing with one of the best play makers of all time, Adam Oates.

Atlanta: Dany Heatley, Iilya Kovalchuck

I think those two are self exclamatory

Boston: Joe Thornton, Nick Boynton

Thornton will be the best overall player in the NHL in a few years. Boyton is a very talented up and coming d-man.

Buffalo: Maxim Afinogenov, Dimitri Kalinin

Afinogenov is the next Pavel Bure plain and simple, the Bure of 10 years ago, not of present time. People who have followed the NHL for a while know what I am talking about. Kalinin is the best young Russian D-man in the NHL and hes gonna be a great player for years to come.

Calgary: Jarome Iginla, Robin Regher

Iginla tore the NHL up last year and will do so again. Hes not what you would consider a darkhorse but noone besides Regher who is another great, young d-man is worthy of reconition in calgary.

Carolina: Eric Cole, David Tanabe

Cole is gonna light the league on fire this year. In his rookie year he hit everything in his path and will continue to do so this year. This guy is a less offensive Joe Thornton. Tanabe missed the playoffs last year and thats the main reason for him to start out on fire. This guy can skate and is the D-man the canes have needed all along since they traded Sandis.

Chicago: Steve McCarthy, Jocelyn Thibault

McCarthy is gonna prosper this year and Thibault will definitly bounce back after a sub par year.

Colorado: Radim Vrbata, Martin Skoula

Vrbata is unbelievable he looked good even while playing with players who are little more recognizable if you know what I mean. Martin Skoula, this kid has come a long way since the finals against Florida a few years ago, playin wit blake, bourque, and foote didnt hurt either.

Columbus: Espen Knutsen, none

Espen Knutsen is the only player worthy of recognition on this pathetic franchise. Even though I give them credit, they are going in the right direction.

Dallas: Marty Turco, Mike Modano

Turco will emerge this year as one of the league’s best goalies. Modano will finaly have a breakout year, im not saying he hasnt been playing well, im just saying this is the year modano scores over 50 goals.

Detroit: Pavel Datsyuk, Jiri Fischer

Datysuk, this kid played amazing in the playoffs, he is fun to watch, much like Bure in his younger years, this kid is going to be a superstar. Fischer is big, strong and talented, this is the year he puts it all together.

Edmonton: Mike Comrie, Eric Brewer

Comrie is the best player on the Oilers straight up. He makes Oilers fans say Doug who? Brewer will show everyone why he is still playing in Edmonton.

Florida: Kristian Husselius, Roberto Luongo

Husselius is an emerging star too, and thats saying a lot, given he doesnt have an allstar cast in florida. Luongo is gonna be great too, again saying a lot, given he has crap on the blueline to work with.

LosAngeles: Jamie Storr, Zigmund Palffy.

Storr will beat out Potvin for the starting job and prove he cant be a #1 goalie in the NHL. Palffy will continue to lead the Kings in the West.

Minnesota:Marian Gaborik, Manny Fernandez

Gaborik is gonna be a superstar by next year, this kids got it all, except a surrounding cast, its a shame. Fernandez, the Wild’s heart and soul. Fernandez and Gaborik are the WILD.

Montreal: Saku Koivu, Jose Theodore.

Not darkhorses but what can u say about these two? Koivu will score 40-45 goals this year. And Jose is the NHL’s new “Dominator”

Part 2 coming soon!

Let me know what you think about part 1