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5 NHL Gamers Poised to Enhance in 2023 – The Hockey Information

Jonathan Huberdeau

Because the 2022 calendar yr wound down, it’s time to mirror on the yr that was and stay up for a brand new and improved 2023.

Some NHL gamers hope the nice occasions hold rolling after breaking out for the first part of the 2022-23 season, similar to Josh Morrissey, Tage Thompson and Linus Ullmark.

For these 5 gamers, the unofficial first half of the 2022-23 season was one to overlook. All these gamers listed are performing under their anticipated ranges. Nevertheless, there’s hope for the New Yr. Whereas every of those gamers has struggled up to now, all of them possess one thing of their respective talent units that supply a glimmer of hope in salvaging their simmering stats. Listed here are the 5 largest bounce-back candidates heading into 2023.

Jonathan Huberdeau, LW, Calgary

Huberdeau was one of many largest names to maneuver this previous low season after being traded to Calgary in a deal that despatched Matthew Tkachuk to the Sunshine State. Huberdeau entered this season coming off a career-best 2021-22 season the place he tied his career-high 30 objectives and completed tied for second general within the NHL with 115 factors, solely trailing Connor McDavid. The Flames anticipated huge issues from the ahead, signing him to an eight-year, $84-million deal again in August. However issues haven’t gone to plan for Huberdeau up to now with Calgary. The winger has simply 25 factors in 35 video games and solely seven objectives to associate with it. These numbers may flip round within the second half of the common season if Huberdeau can develop extra chemistry together with his linemates and discover a method to shoot the puck extra. After averaging 2.78 pictures per sport final season in Florida, the 29-year-old now averages 1.66 this season.

Oliver Bjorkstrand, RW, Seattle

Coming off his greatest season but in 2021-22 with the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Seattle Kraken thought they have been buying their subsequent high goal-scorer once they shipped a 2023 third and fourth-round choose to Ohio in change for Oliver Bjorkstrand. The 27-year-old Dane scored a career-high 28 objectives and 57 factors in 80 video games final season, but has simply 4 objectives and 16 factors in 34 outings up to now for the Kraken. Nevertheless, hope is just not misplaced for Seattle GM Ron Francis because it pertains to Bjorkstrand’s scoring hunch. The winger nonetheless leads his workforce in pictures, with 88 on the yr. Bjorkstrand’s capturing share is a measly 4.6 p.c, a fraction of his profession common, which hovers round 11.5 p.c. If Bjorkstrand can hold firing pictures towards the web on the charge he has been doing up to now, it’s secure to imagine he’ll have a a lot stronger second half within the goal-scoring division, essential for a Kraken workforce that appears poised for a playoff push in simply their second-ever season.

Teuvo Teravainen, LW, Carolina

The 28-year-old battled accidents within the 2020-21 season earlier than returning to type final yr with 22 objectives and 65 factors in 77 video games for the Hurricanes. His story this season is like that of Bjorkstrand, the place some poor capturing luck has been the primary perpetrator for this yr’s lack of manufacturing for the Finn. With simply three objectives on 61 pictures, Teravainen is capturing at only a 4.9-percent clip, a far cry from his profession 9.9 p.c. Nonetheless averaging 2.35 pictures per sport, Teravainen’s fortunes ought to flip round as he nonetheless occupies his spot within the high six alongside Sebastian Aho, who’s a greater than succesful playmaker. Ought to Teravainen’s capturing fortunes begin to flip, it will not be shocking to see him supplant Stefan Noesen on Carolina’s high power-play unit, which might solely additional assist his scoring manufacturing.

Patrick Kane, RW, Chicago

With six objectives and 26 factors in 35 video games this season, Kane is on tempo for his first season under a point-per-game common since 2017-18, the place he nonetheless had 76 factors in 82 video games. Kane is among the largest names in commerce rumors because the Blackhawks proceed to toil across the NHL’s basement. Regardless of a season under his traditional commonplace, Kane nonetheless leads the Hawks in factors and assists, enjoying for a poor offensive workforce the place the main goal-scorers are Max Domi and Jonathan Toews, every with 11. The excellent news for GMs fascinated with including the 34-year-old Buffalo native is that the winger has solely scored 4.8 p.c of his 126 pictures, which can also be under his common. Kane’s playmaking has not gone wherever, and his objective scoring ought to rebound as each different ahead within the NHL with extra pictures on objective than Kane has greater than twice as many objectives as he does.

Ryan O’Reilly, C, St. Louis

The soon-to-be 32-year-old heart has the very best objective complete on our record with 10 in 37 video games this season, however his six assists on the yr present what a tough time the St. Louis Blues have had scoring objectives this season. Like Kane, O’Reilly’s identify has been talked about in commerce talks because the Blues have faltered this yr regardless of Jordan Kyrou persevering with his robust play from final season. Exterior of Kyrou and O’Reilly, the one Blues with 10 objectives or extra are Pavel Buchnevich (12) and Vladimir Tarasenko (10). O’Reilly’s level totals ought to rebound if Blues GM Doug Armstrong decides to maneuver the 2019 Stanley Cup-winner in a commerce to a playoff contender. O’Reilly simply snapped a six-game pointless streak after scoring within the Blues’ 5-4 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Dec. 27, so maybe it’s an indication of higher issues to return within the New Yr. 

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