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Top10 Rising Sports Stars - Hockey

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Spencer Sher

The future looks bright for these up-and-coming hockey sensations. From Zach Werenski, to Brock Boeser, and Mikhail Sergachev, these superstars are on their way to greatness. WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Rising Sports Stars – Hockey.

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Script written by Spencer Sher


Top 10 Rising Sports Stars – Hockey


The future looks bright for these up-and-coming hockey sensations. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Rising Sports Stars – Hockey.

For this list, we’ll only be including athletes aged 22 and under who are currently making a name for themselves in the NHL.


#10: Zach Werenski


Zach Werenski has wasted little time establishing himself as a top four D-man in the NHL. During his rookie season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, he put up 11 goals and 36 assists in 78 games and finished third in Calder Memorial Trophy voting, an award handed out annually to the league’s top rookie. His 47 total points that year set a record for the most by a rookie in franchise history, and his 21 power play points put him in the top 10 for defensemen. While his stats regressed a bit during his sophomore season, Werenski was no less effective, leading the Blue Jackets to a playoff berth once again.

#9: Brock Boeser


There’s hope for the Vancouver Canucks in the form of Brock Boeser: the sharp-shooting right-winger who dazzled fans during the 2017-18 season. An all-world talent with a nose for the net and an innate ability to finish plays, Boeser was a beast in his rookie season; scoring 29 goals in just 62 games. He was voted to the All-Star Game, and walked away with the game’s Most Valuable Player Award. The last rookie to do that was Mario Lemieux… maybe you’ve heard of him? Boeser will look to fill the void left by the Sedin twins in the coming years, and so far, all signs point to him being up to the challenge.


#8: Mikhail Sergachev


A 6’3”, 215 pound defenseman who isn’t afraid to go into the corners and has a knack for finding the back of the net? Yeah, you could say Mikhail Sergachev is the whole package. Dealt from the Canadiens to the Lightning prior to the 2017-18 season, Sergachev played in 79 games for his new squad, finishing with nine goals and 31 assists. A rare combination of size and skill, Sergachev figures to be the thunder to Victor Hedman’s lightning, and will no doubt be a key cog in Tampa Bay’s quest for the Stanley Cup in the years to come.


#7: David Pastrňák


In his fourth season with the Boston Bruins, David Pastrňák finally managed to play all 82 games, and the result was nothing short of brilliant. The Czech sniper found the back of the net 35 times, finishing with a whopping 80 points. During the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs, he became the youngest player to ever score six points in a postseason game. The previous record holder? Wayne Gretzky. A 200-foot player with the speed and skill to take over a game, the 22-year-old Pastrňák figures to be a thorn in other teams’ sides for the foreseeable future.


#6: Mitch Marner


Along with Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Morgan Reilly, Mitch Marner is part of a new wave of Leafs players who look poised to bring the Stanley Cup back to Toronto – something that hasn’t been done since 1967. In just his second season with the squad, Marner led the Maple Leafs in assists and set career highs in a slew of other categories. In a very short period of time, the 21-year-old has proven he has the vision and skill to compete with the NHL’s best. Considering the Leafs added John Tavares this offseason, Marner will now have multiple high-end players to dish the puck to all season long.


#5: Mathew Barzal


With Tavares gone, the New York Islanders have a hole to fill down the middle on their first line. Enter Mathew Barzal. During his 2017-18 rookie campaign, he lit the lamp 22 times and finished the season with 85 points. While it’s not unheard of for a 20-year-old to finish in the top 15 in league scoring, it still doesn’t happen every year. Barzal is a unique talent; the kind of player you’d want if you were building a franchise from scratch. With the size, speed and skill to be a true game-breaker, he’ll be doing just that throughout the next decade if his rookie season is anything to go by.


#4: Jack Eichel


Even if they missed out on McDavid, the Sabres got quite the consolation prize selecting Jack Eichel with the second pick at the 2015 NHL Draft. Eichel has been a pillar of consistency as part of a Sabres offence that’s anything but; putting up at least 24 goals and 56 points in each of his first three seasons despite missing 37 games. Before the 2017-18 season, the Sabres signed Eichel to an eight-year contract extension worth $80 million, and he rewarded them by posting career highs in goals and assists. This also led to him being named to his first All-Star Game. It’s only a matter of time before Eichel leads the Sabres on a deep playoff run.


#3: Patrik Laine


In two seasons with the Winnipeg Jets, Finnish winger Patrik Laine has been a force to be reckoned with. Since the team drafted him second overall in 2016, he’s amassed an eye-popping 80 goals and 134 points, and in 2018 helped lead the Jets to their first Conference Finals since returning to Winnipeg seven years prior. A dynamic forward with a shot that gives opposing goaltenders nightmares, Laine is a true goal scoring threat every time he hits the ice. At just 20 years of age, Laine already looks like a future Hall of Famer. If Winnipeg can keep its high-scoring nucleus together, they’ll be a Cup contender for years to come.


#2: Auston Matthews


Auston Matthews took the NHL by storm in 2016. In only his first game, the Arizona native netted four goals. Yes, you heard that correctly. Since then, it’s been more of the same for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ franchise center. He finished his rookie campaign with 40 goals and 69 points, beating out Patrik Laine for the Calder Trophy. The following season, he missed 20 games and still managed to score 34 goals. Matthews is the real deal; a pure goal scorer who can make plays at both ends of the ice. With the addition of John Tavares, the Leafs now boast one of the league’s most lethal one-two punches.


Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:


Leon Draisaitl


Clayton Keller


Aaron Ekblad


#1: Connor McDavid


We’d be remiss if we didn’t include 21-year-old Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid on a list of rising stars, even if he’s already attained superstar status. McDavid is a generational talent akin to Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby; the type of player who can singlehandedly turn a franchise around. In 2017, he took home both the Art Ross trophy as the league’s top point-getter, and the Hart for league MVP. A minimum point-a-game player, McDavid repeated as Art Ross champion the following season despite the Oilers missing the playoffs. With a skillset like his, the question isn’t if McDavid will win a Cup, but when.

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