What player is due for a breakout season in the West?
By: The NHL Nosebleed Team
Peter Bolt - Evander Kane (San Jose Sharks)
I love the way Evander Kane fits in San Jose. I think one of the most underrated aspects of Kane’s game is his shot. In Buffalo, Kane got off roughly 3.72 shots/game recording 20 goals in 61 games. In just 17 games on the Sharks, Kane’s shot production jumped to all the way up to 4.71 shots/game and scored 9 goals over that span. Kane has clearly been able to benefit from playing with the Shark’s group of highly skilled forwards and I believe that will continue next season. Wouldn’t be surprised if Kane nets 35-40+ goals and gets 70 points next year.
Jack Fenty - Alex Tuch (Vegas Golden Knights)
Just like the Vegas Golden Knights, Alex Tuch broke into the NHL with a productive season. The first-round pick by the Wild in 2014 put up 15 goals and 22 assists in his first full season in the league. While these numbers are impressive, I believe his point total this upcoming season will rise from 37 to 50+. With the departure of 2017-2018 second line winger for the Knights, David Perron departed the club it is assumed that Tuch will move up from the third line into that spot. Another thing going for Tuch is the addition of Paul Stastny. The second line could be Tuch, Stastny, and late season addition, Tomas Tatar. Both Tatar and Stastny provide a lot of scoring opportunities for the speedy winger. Although Alex Tuch had a mini breakout year last season I expect him to take a big step this year. Can Tuch be the depth scoring the Knights need to make another run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
Chris Yackel - Alex Galchenyuk (Arizona Coyotes)
Alex Galchenyuk was traded by the Montreal Canadiens to the Arizona Coyotes back in June for Max Domi as Arizona absolutely fleeced Montreal in this trade. (Who doesn’t fleece the Habs in a trade). Galchenyuk is going to play a lot more and will have a chance to thrive at center unlike in Montreal. People seem to forget Galchenyuk is only 24 years old and I really think he will start to grow into his own this year. A change in scenery to a non-traditional hockey market like Arizona will only do him wonders. I expect Galchenyuk by November to assume the first line center role and create real magic with Clayton Keller who is another great young player.
Colin Noonan - Alex Galchenyuk (Arizona Coyotes)
I remember during David Blaine’s knife card trick during the NHL awards somebody tweeted out “Weird to see knives thrown at cards and not stuck between the shoulder blades of any star to have played in Montreal.” Chelios, Roy, Subban, the list of stars thrown under the bus by that franchise is very long but that’s a story for another day. Galchenyuk got the rawest of deals in Montreal with multiple coaches flat out refusing to play him at his natural position of center. By virtue of that alone he’s due for his best season yet.
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