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# 18.10.2017 - 07:58:18
Chris Peters: A lot of different things have really surprised me this season. The Vegas Golden Knights are certainly near the top of that list, but expansion teams are so unpredictable to begin with. You should almost expect the unexpected. So that brings me to the New Jersey Devils, who were expected to be right next to the Golden Knights in the NHL's cellar, but are off to a 4-1-0 start.
However, there is an even bigger surprise within the surprise. That would be Jesper Bratt, the 19-year-old rookie winger from Sweden, only a year removed from being selected 162nd overall in the sixth round. Bratt was on pretty much nobody's radar coming into this season. Why should he have been? It is near impossible for a sixth-rounder to make an NHL roster as a http://www.newenglandpatriotsauthorizedstore.com/brandin-cooks-jersey-elite teenager. In fact, no player drafted in the sixth round or later has made the NHL as a teenager since 1995-96 (via hockey-reference.com's Play Index). Most teams are merely hoping a few of their late picks over several years pan out.
Bratt spent last season playing in Sweden's second division with AIK and had a respectable, but not earth-shattering, 22 points in 46 games. It appeared he was destined to join the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights for 2017-18. Then he started turning heads during a rookie tournament and kept excelling in Devils' training camp. Now the kid has three goals and three assists through New Jersey's first five games and has hovered between 16 and 17 minutes of ice time.
By the way, of the 28 late draft picks that made the NHL as teenagers, only one scored more than three goals in his rookie season and http://www.nfl49ersofficialauthentics.com/Aaron-Lynch-Jersey only two had more than six points. By that measure, Bratt is already off to one of the best seasons among his unique draft peers, just five games in.
We asked ESPN analyst Barry Melrose to go coast-to-coast and name the most important player for each team this season. Who will be on the spot -- and in the spotlight -- for each squad?
The former NHL coach and defenseman dished out some surprises -- and even coined a new superlative for Connor McDavid. Here's Ricky Nolasco Youth jersey Melrose's take on who will be each franchise's difference-maker over the next six months.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Victor Hedman. The Lightning have great forwards who can score goals. But the Nashville Predators showed us last season Ricky Nolasco Youth jersey that a good defense can almost win you a Stanley Cup. And Tampa Bay's defense will be better than Nashville's was. If Hedman is not the best defenseman in the world, he's in the top two.
Detroit Red Wings: The sad part is, it's Ricky Nolasco Youth jersey still Henrik Zetterberg. And that's why Detroit is struggling. The Red Wings have to find young players who can become the leaders of that team, and someone else to be that go-to guy. They haven't been able to do that yet.
Ottawa Senators: Erik Karlsson. If Hedman is not the best defenseman in the world, it's this guy. You saw how, in the playoffs last season, on a bad ankle, he almost single-handedly got Ottawa to the Stanley Cup Final. They lost in overtime in a Game 7. He's great, no doubt about it.
Florida Panthers: I think it's Aleksander Barkov. He was drafted second overall in 2013, so the expectations are high. The Panthers have some good, young players. But Barkov is going to http://www.canucksofficialauthentic.com/Alexander_Burmistrov_Jersey_Adidas have to be the guy who changes Florida's fortunes.
Boston Bruins: Charlie McAvoy. This kid is great. He's 19, so I'm going future here. It's a lot harder to be a young defenseman in the NHL than to be a young forward. But I think he will Ricky Nolasco Jersey be the next Ray Bourque for the Boston Bruins.
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