I'm officially excited for hockey again, and this year's rookie class is a big reason why. It's dripping with talent and creativity, and the opportunities are real.
In fact, they've never been better.
Rosters are bigger. There's nowhere else to play post World Juniors, and young players are four months stronger than they would have been if camp had opened in September.
The top of this list includes guys who will be among the NHL's elite in short order. Alexis Lafreniere, Kirill Kaprizov and Ilya Sorokin have a chance to be among the best in the league in their prime.
And if not elite, they'll be stars at the very least. Tim Stuetzle will be a marquis player in Ottawa for a long time. Igor Shesterkin will light up Broadway, and guys like Trevor Zegras and Bowen Byram will eventually be elite but slip off this list because their gigs just aren't secure yet in 2020-21.
Let's take a look...
1. Kirill Kaprizov, LW, Wild – Good things come to those who wait. Kaprizov is finally in St. Paul and is going to step into a top role on a team starved for offense. His skills are ridiculous, and as such, most of the power play will run through him. Kaprizov is at the top of this list because his opportunity to excel is bigger than Lafreniere's, even if the latter goes off the draft board first.
2. Igor Shesterkin, G, Rangers – It's hard for