What’s your favorite NHL rookie?
It might not be your favorite player, but the fact that you’re reading this article makes it more likely that you’ll be thinking about this one.
It’s the one player in the NHL that we’ve spent a lot of time discussing, and one of the reasons why.
Let’s take a look at the 10 players with the most breakout potential.
Nikita Scherbak, RW, Ottawa Senators The NHL’s leading goal scorer this season, Scherbaka has played a key role in the Senators’ first-half success.
The 6-foot-3, 212-pound forward has also taken the ice with the Senators in the playoffs and led all rookies with 18 goals and 33 points in 39 games.
He had an impressive debut season, scoring 14 goals and adding 28 points in 41 games.
Now he’s one of two players to score 20 goals and 40 points in both the regular season and the playoffs in the same season.
While he’s still young and developing, Scherba has the potential to become an elite scorer for the Ottawa Senators.
Filip Forsberg, C, Nashville Predators It’s tough to rank a prospect without having a little bit of an opinion on them.
But if you’re looking for an under-the-radar, yet elite player who could potentially be an NHL regular, you have to look at Filip Forszberg.
He’s had a breakout year, scoring 18 goals in 38 games with the Predators this season.
He has the ability to score goals and provide the team with another scoring option down the middle.
Forsz is a natural center, and he could see time in Nashville this season as the Predators attempt to return to the playoffs for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
Sam Reinhart, D, San Jose Sharks There’s no doubting the talent of Reinhart’s game.
He plays a physical style of hockey that makes him a tough competitor.
He also brings a gritty element to the Sharks’ defense that the rest of the league can learn from.
Reinhart also has a big, strong frame and great vision.
He could be a strong defensive anchor for the Sharks for a long time to come.
Christian Ehrhoff, RW/RW, Florida Panthers In terms of NHL production, Ehrhofs goal production has been outstanding this season for Florida.
The 23-year-old scored 20 goals with 18 assists and a +26 rating in 35 games this season and also added 16 penalty minutes.
Ehrhols offensive production has also been very impressive, as he scored 12 goals with 21 assists and 19 points in 24 games.
Nick Merkley, D/RW/RW Toronto Maple Leafs After missing most of last season with a shoulder injury, Merkleys offensive production improved significantly this season with 24 goals and 36 points in 52 games.
With the Maple Leafs looking to return home after a rough 2017-18 season, Merks offensive production should only improve.
Nicklas Backstrom, LW/C, Detroit Red Wings The biggest question surrounding Backstrom is his size.
But he’s an extremely hard-working player who shows no signs of slowing down.
The 19-year old has an impressive career with an average of 3.1 goals and 3.3 assists per game.
The biggest knock on Backstrom’s game is his lack of offensive skill, but he has the tools to be a solid, high-scoring player in Detroit.
Jacob Trouba, C/RW Boston Bruins Trouba has spent his entire career playing with an edge.
In 2017-2018, he had 23 goals and 29 assists in 68 games.
His offensive game is a lot more refined than it was in his previous seasons.
Trouba also leads all rookies in assists with 18.
Troubadas offensive production is also very impressive.
Dylan Strome, C Edmonton Oilers Strome has spent the majority of his career playing in the top defensive pairing.
The 22-year olds best year came with Edmonton, where he led the Oilers in points with 33 and ranked second in goals with 17.
His defensive game has been even more impressive, with 11 goals and 22 assists in 43 games.
Jaden Schwartz, D Arizona Coyotes After his breakout season in the 2016-17 season, Schwartz has enjoyed a steady rise through the ranks of the Coyotes’ defense corps.
Schwartz has the size to be an elite defender in the league and is still only 22 years old.
His physical game is something to watch, and the 6-5, 215-pound defenseman is a solid defender.
Max Domi, D Pittsburgh Penguins After missing all of last year with a lower-body injury, Domi had a nice bounce-back season for the Penguins, finishing with 33 points and 28 goals in 53 games.
The 26-year d-man was a very productive offensive player for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season, but his defensive game will take time to develop.