This past year, we saw a lot of young players show significant improvement (Vanek, Cammalleri for instance) and had breakout seasons. Who do you think will show major improvements next year and "arrive" at the footsteps of stardom? I think Ryan Getzlaf and Nathan Horton can have their breakthrough seasons next year. Who else? Dustin Brown? Corey Perry? Nik Zherdev? Joffrey Lupul?
Homer pick but I'll go with Valtteri Filppula. Even though I dont think he's ready for the #2 center spot yet (I think Datsyuk and Zetterberg with be 1-2) I think he'll see significant time next season and establish himself as one of the best young two-way forwards in the NHL. He may even play on Datsyuk's wing next season, and in that case he should put up very solid numbers.
Brent Burns is the homer pick. Prevailed on the Wild's top line second semester as a top performer on special teams, and was one of the greatest forces in their 5 game playoff run. Burns will have a huge 07-08 year, and you heard it here.
My personal belief is that Jon Toews will have his coming out party in his rookie season. The more obvious choices here are probably players such as Getzlaf and Horton. I'd like to think it's time for Christensen to break out, granted he hasn't been given ample ice time to due so. I'm still growing impatient with his consistency.
Zherdev has got a real shot at a breakout season, especially speaking relative to his performance last year. If he commits himself to using his teammates and comes out skating like his hair is on fire, he can turn some heads.
i have hope that Lombardi can be added to this list. we saw flashes of what he can bring last year, and he dominated at the worlds, so if he can find some form of consistency (isn't that always the big hurdle?) i think 07-08 can be his year