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Skating into the Spotlight: NHL’s Breakout Stars of the Season

The 2023-24 NHL season has been a thrilling ride, filled with unexpected twists and turns. But in the middle of that chaos, a handful of rising stars have emerged, taking the league by storm with their incredible talent and jaw-dropping performances.

These are the players who have not only exceeded expectations but have also become the talk of the town among hockey enthusiasts and fantasy managers alike.

Wyatt Johnston: The Dallas Dynamo

At just 20 years old, Wyatt Johnston has already made a name for himself as one of the most promising young players in the league. The Dallas Stars’ center, drafted 23rd overall in 2021, has been a key component of the team’s most dangerous line, forging remarkable chemistry with veteran Jamie Benn and rookie Logan Stankoven.

Johnston’s 32-goal milestone in only his second NHL season is a testament to his immense potential. With his current trajectory, it won’t be surprising to see him score more than 35 goals and contribute an equal number of assists next season. Fantasy managers take note: Johnston is a gem waiting to be discovered.

Alexis Lafreniere: The Resurgent Ranger

Sometimes, even the most promising players need a little extra time to find their footing. Alexis Lafreniere, the first overall pick in the 2020 draft, is a prime example. After a few seasons of falling short of expectations, the New York Rangers forward has finally hit his stride in his fourth NHL season.

Skating alongside Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck, Lafreniere has been piling up the points, rewarding his fantasy managers with an impressive 2.7 fantasy points per game since mid-March. With one year left on his contract, the 22-year-old is poised to push the Rangers far in this year’s playoffs and make a significant impact next season, making him a valuable late-round fantasy selection.

Seth Jarvis: Carolina’s Rising Star

Seth Jarvis, the 13th overall pick in the 2020 draft, has become an integral part of the Carolina Hurricanes’ top-six forward group. The third-year skater has proven himself to be a legitimate 30-goal scorer and a valuable fantasy asset.

After a disappointing sophomore campaign, Jarvis has bounced back with a vengeance, scoring 67 points for the Hurricanes. Averaging 2.3 fantasy points per game over the past month, the 22-year-old is a must-have in savvy, deeper leagues next fall. Jarvis will face off against Lafreniere and the Rangers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Philipp Kurashev: Riding the Bedard Wave

Playing on a line with Connor Bedard, the best young player in the league, certainly has its advantages. But Philipp Kurashev has made the most of this golden opportunity. The Chicago Blackhawks forward has been on fire since early March, collecting seven goals and 12 assists in 16 games.

If Kurashev can maintain his spot alongside Bedard, he has the potential to rack up 65 to 70 points in a full season. With one year left on his current contract, the 24-year-old could be a sneaky late-round fantasy pick in deeper leagues.

Stuart Skinner: Edmonton’s Unsung Hero

In a season filled with disappointment for the Edmonton Oilers, goaltender Stuart Skinner has been a shining light. The 25-year-old workhorse has not only kept the Oilers competitive but has flourished through long stretches, ranking among the top fantasy netminders in the league.

Skinner’s performance has been nothing short of impressive, considering the Oilers’ early-season struggles. With Connor McDavid leading the charge, Skinner can be counted on to give his team a chance to win every night, making him a valuable fantasy asset for the upcoming season.

According to recent NHL playoff odds, the Oilers are still favored to make a deep postseason run, which could further boost Skinner’s stock.

Conclusion: The Future is Bright

The 2023-24 NHL season has introduced us to a new wave of talented young players who are ready to take the league by storm. From Wyatt Johnston’s goal-scoring prowess to Alexis Lafreniere’s resurgence, these rising stars have not only made their mark on the ice but have also become valuable assets for fantasy hockey managers.

As we look ahead to the future, it’s clear that these breakout stars are just the tip of the iceberg. With their incredible skill, determination, and potential, they are poised to become the face of the NHL for years to come. So, whether you’re a die-hard hockey fan or a savvy fantasy manager, keep an eye on these young guns – they’re just getting started.

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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