Top 10 potential first-time 70-point guys

Tom Collins

2018-09-10

 

Projecting established players to put up a lot of points is easy. The difficult part is projecting what players are going to break out that no one really expects.

Last year, there were 36 players that hit 70 points, 12 of which hit that number for the first time. (For the record, those 12 were Nathan MacKinnon, Mathew Barzal, Mikko Rantanen, Aleksander Barkov, William Karlsson, Sean Couturier, Jon Marchessault, Vincent Trocheck, Alexander Radulov, Josh Bailey, Patrik Laine and Brayden Schenn.)

Those names run almost every stereotype in hockey. The budding teenager superstar (Laine). The young guy finally breaking out (MacKinnon). The complete surprise (Karlsson). The rookie (Barzal). The older player on a new team (Radulov). The guy finally getting to play with elite teammates (Couturier). The disrespected player getting a fresh start (Marchessault).

Generally speaking over the last few years, about one out of every three 70-point players is hitting that mark for the first time. That means you can expect a few fresh faces to crack 70 points this year. Some of the possibilities are obvious (Auston Matthews, Jack Eichel, Mitch Marner, Jonathan Huberdeau, etc.). However, I wanted to focus on players that may not be getting as much hype.

Here are 10 potential first-time under-the-radar 70-point guys. Keep in mind that I am not saying all of these players are going to reach 70 points, but there are good reasons why they might surprise.

 

10. Travis Konecny

This will be one of the longest shots to hit 70 points, but let’s remember how excellent he was in the second half last year when he was put on the top line with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier. Konecny finished last year with 37 points in 45 games, a 67-point pace. His biggest problem is he doesn’t get enough ice time (even during his hot finish, he averaged 16 minutes a game). He was also on the second power-play unit for most of the year. At least one, if not both, need to increase quite a bit to push for 70 points.

 

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