Nico Hischier: Hischier had a very solid first year in the NHL and made an immediate impact right away. Hischier collected 20 goals and 32 assists in his first year playing in a full 82 games. Hischier will be staying right where he played last year with MVP Taylor Hall and Jesper Bratt, with not much added to the Devils roster it is fair to say Hischier will be seeing similar time on the ice and be called upon in all pressure situations. With the amount of time Hischier will be seeing again this year it is only fair to say he is very capable of a 50-60 point season.
Nolan Patrick: Patrick only missed 9 games last season, the big concern with him and possibly the reason he did not go #1 was because of his health. Well he played in 73 games but only tallying 30 points, and 13 goals. He for sure did not have an amazing season and disappointed some a little but a lot of fans and analysts are saying Patrick is bound for a break out year. As he will be slatted next to James Van Reimsydk and Jakub Voracek, the second year center is going to be asked to step into a big role and produce. It would be a total failure if Patrick did not produce 50 plus points next year playing next to JVR and Voracek while also seeing power play time as well.
Adrian Kempe: Kempe had a surprising first year with the Kings, a first full year that is. Kempe broke onto the scene around the mid way point, he tallied 16 goals and 37 points last year for the Kings. But coming into this year may be a little different. Kempe saw a lot of success due to Jeff Carter being injured and someone needing to step into that role. Well with Carter back and now the addition of Ilya Kovalchuk, Kempe will be a third liner, seeing less minutes therefore production may slid a little. I don’t think we see the same year out of Kempe unless injuries happen but we can expect a 25 point year out of Kempe it seems.
Clayton Keller: I sure hope no one thinks this kid is going to be riddled by the sophomore slump non sense. Keller is the number one scorer on Arizona and with the addition of Alex Galchenyuk it takes some pressure off the young winger. Keller had an unbelievable rookie season, winning rookie of the month one time, and being a Calder nominee. Keller tallied 23 goals and 42 assists in 82 games. At one point he got a little snake bitten and his production stalled, which is typical. Now with a year under his belt Keller will be even better next year, especially with some more serviceable forwards in the line up. Keller could easily notch 30 goals and 70 points next year, which I believe he will.
Brock Boeser: If it was not for the emergence of Matt Barzal last season this was going to be our Calder winner, Boeser broke into the league early and never stopped besides an injury. But the power forward, scoring right winger showed the NHL that he is capable of being an elite goal scorer and top 15 scorer in the NHL. Boeser tallied 29 goals and 26 assists in 62 games, had he played a full 82, he would have easily tallied 34 plus goals last year. Boeser even dealt with his line mates Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi being injured and still produced solid numbers. Boeser is going to be here to stay for a long time. I think it is with my best judgement and all can agree Boeser will tally 35 goals next year and 70 points.
Matt Barzal: The Calder winner has a long road ahead of him, now being the face of the Islanders and wallpaper of many Islander fans phones. Barzal will need to topple that 85 point season and do even more! Barzal broke into the league and made a name for himself early on, after his 6 assist game and 900 multiple point games, everyone knew this kid was something special. Barzal’s elusiveness, speed and skating ability made everyone keep an eye on this kid when he was out there. Barzal tallied 22 goals and 63 assists last year. With John Tavares gone now and Barzal being the face of the Islanders, their power play one option and the all around go to guy there Barzal could possibly tally upwards of 85 points next season. It would be tough but not impossible, I’d have to say a 80 point season is due out of Barzal next year.
Jake DeBrusk: DeBrusk in a sense came out of no where last season, he was not really a sought after prospect nor a big name, therefore when he started burying goals and finished with 43 points, more people knew about the Bruins left wing prospect. DeBrusk was drafted in the 1st round in 2015, making his first appearance in the NHL this past 2017-18 season. Playing alongside some top Bruin forwards really helped excel DeBrusk’s game along with some other prospects on the team. DeBrusk game really elevated this season. DeBrusk is slotted next to David Backes and David Krejci who if they both can stay healthy DeBrusk is bound for another 45 plus point season and a solid second year.