Three Cup contenders who will count on their kids
In our third and final piece on the impact of the infusion of young players around the NHL, let's look at the top teams that are turning major roles and minutes over to up-and-comers.
In some respects, the nine young players below will have better situations than some of their peers who are on teams that will be battling just to get into the playoffs. They'll be on deep rosters and surrounded by veterans, so they won't have to carry their teams. Delivering in their specific roles and contributing to their teams' high expectations, more so than earning individual accolades, will define these young players during the upcoming campaign.
No elite club is counting on younger players in key positions more than the Caps.
The Capitals will be even more intriguing in their own zone this season with the still largely unproven
Neuvirth has backstopped the Hershey Bears to two Calder Cups in the AHL and he appeared in 17 games for the big club last season, so he could end up as the go-to guy in goal for the Capitals as his battle with Varlamov for playing time with unfolds. No matter what transpires through 82 games, the Capitals will hope that one of these 22-year-old netminders provides the answer to their often dicey situation in net come April.
They turned to rookie goalie
As I look at this team, though, defensemen
As they continue to tinker with that ever-elusive formula of players who can take them to the Stanley Cup Final, the Sharks have two who should be main ingredients this season: centerman
Demers had some ups and downs during his inaugural NHL season, but he appeared in all of the Sharks' playoff games. With