Every year some average Nhl player or young stud who hasent lived up to expectations has a huge breakout season. Jussi Jokinen went from a waiver pickup to a 30 goal 65 point player. Genrally younger players tend to breakout in their 3rd or fourth campaign. In this blog i shall post up 10 players who i think will breakout this year . Here are my top 10 breakout players for the NHL 10-11 campaign;
1. Claude Giroux (Philidalphia Flyers): Giroux has always had sucess in hockey. He was a top player in the "Q" and has been developping very well with the Flyers since then. The 09-10 cmapaign proved to be giroux growth as he double his production mostly playing on the third and second line while getting second power play duty. In the playoffs he showed he could be a point a game player in the NHL. Giroux finished with 47 points last year in 82 games and 21 points in 23 playoff games. This year i expect giroux to play top line minutes and first power play duty look for those 50 points to skyrocket to the 70-75 point range.
2. Peter Mueller( Colorado Avalanche): Mueller has always had to talent to be a top point producer in the NHL but position and injuries have affected Mueller's developpement. I thought that Mueller was going to be a 60 point player last year but ice time and personnal struggles hurt Mueller as he finished with a dismal 37 points. Once he got to Colorado he looked like the player he was touted of being. In colorado he was a point a game player and seemed to have that number one center potential. This year i can see Mueller breaking out with 60-65 points.
3. Derrick Brassard( Colombus Blue Jackets): Brassard had his struggles last year mananging only a dismal 36 points in 79 games. He was avereging just 14:56 minutes a game and looked rather lost. His rookie campaign Brassard had 25 points in just 31 games. The good news for Brassard is that many Sophmores have dissapointing seasons. ex(Patrick Berglund,Steve mason,cogliano) Now with Brassard passed that dreadful second season in the NHL he should be getting some more ice time and more powerplay time with Rick Nash. If Brassard stays healthy look for a good 60 points.
4.Sam Gagner (Edmonton Oilers): Gagne has been affected by being rushed to the NHL at such a young age and being expected to be the teams number one centerman. To gagner defence, he did produce 49 points in 79 games in his rookie season which is not bad. These last 2 seasons gagne has been affected by having weak linemates and being on a weak team. Now with Hall,Swesson and Eberle coming in this is the year Gagne will exlpode. Look for the former 5th overall pick to center a line with hemsky and eberle/hall/swesson and get a good 65 points.
5. Michael Frolik(Florida Panthers): Frolik is really a not a household name. Most people dont even know who he is just because of the team he plays for (Florida). Frolik has been putting up points consistently on a very weak panthers team. He put up 45 points as a rookie in 79 games and 43 points in 82 games as a sophmore. Frolik is blessed with loads of talent and with a rebuilding project in effect expect froloik to play top line minutes. Expect Frolik to play with Weiss and Booth and put up a good 55-60 points.
6. Josh Bailey(New York Islanders): Bailey is not a household name in the NHL due to the fact that fans feel cheated he was drafted ahed of Cody Hodgson. Bialey though has been playing some very good hockey with 3rd line minutes. He put up 96 points in 67 OHL games ande is known as aplaymaker. Bailey put up 35 points in his second NHL campaign playing a modest 15:08 a game. In his third year expect bailey to get his ice time up to the 17-18 min mark and some time with tavares and i expect Bailey to get a good 50-55 points.
7. Kyle Okposo(New York Islanders): With the Islanders in rebuilding mode and Tavares,Bailey and Okposo leading the way okposo has alreay had a strong year with 51 points in 80 games while avereging 20 min's a game. The Islanders a still year's away from being contenders but With okposo being on Tavares right flank will score many goals and get many points. Expect a good 60-70 points with a good 30 goals. (he has 19 last season)
8. David Perron(St Louis Blues) : Perron was a definit steal for the Blues at 25th overall in the 07 draft. He is a very underrated player with loads of talent. Last season i was hoping for a Perron breakout but due to the team never clicking, most of the players had regressions ie: (boyes,backes,berglund). Now that these young Blues have lived trought a great season(08-09) and a bad season(09-10). I expect the Blues to have a strong season and Perron to be an offensive force with 65 points.
9. Jordan Staal(Pittsburh Penguins): I know, he scored 30 goals as a rookie as is being used as the third line centerman on a very good team that features 2 of the top 3 centers of the NHL (crosby and Malkin) but dont underestimate Staal. Staal plays virtually in all situations including pp,pk and is primerally known as a defensive specialist. In the past 2 seasons Staal's production has hit 49 points, I beleive the former 2nd overall pick will go back to his rookie form in getting 30 goals and a good 65-70 points this year.
10.Dustin Byfulgien(Atlanta Trashers): Bigg Buff had the opportunity of playing with toews and Kane with being on the top line on his route to a cup. His marvellous run to the cup included a 11 goal 16 point performance in 22 games. Keep in ming he played defence in the first round of the playoffs and did not score his first goal until round 2. Now with no more Toews or Kane, Big Buff will get every opportunity to suceed in Atlanta with top line minutes and should defiently get a large improvemnet over his 34 points from a season ago. Expect a good 50-55 points.
Now I know most people are going to say where is tavares,Duchene,Hall,Seguin etc. I know that these players will all perform and have good years but they are obvious picks and i was trying to give my insight on players who arent talked/hyped about such as a tavares/hall etc.
On my next blog I will give my defence and goaltenders picks formy. 2010-2011 breakout picks. Then part 3 will feature my sleeper picks. I will also give my 2010-2011 breahout team on my last blog of this 3 part series. P.S. This is also my first ever blog!
Thanks for reading !!!! Fell free to Comment/debate/argue