New York Hockey Breakout Performer
Steven Cifuentes- Ryan Strome New York Islanders
The recipe for success is all there for Ryan Strome to breakout this season. The New York Islanders did not go out and make a trade or sign a top line wing to play with number one center John Tavares. Garth Snow and the Islanders appear to be giving Strome first crack at playing on the top line. Strome has the talent to put up major points playing with Tavares, if JT can make Matt Moulson a 30 goal scorer, Strome could be in for a career year.
Ernie DeFalco- Chris Kreider- New York Rangers
It is his time. For the past few seasons Chris Kreider has been on the verge of being an elite forward in the game. He is possessed with all the skills needed. He has physicality and speed, has a great shot, and great hands. What he has lacked is consistency. This is the year Kreider takes that next step. He figures out how to use all of those skills day-in and day-out. Kreider will challenge Rick Nash as the Rangers leading goal scorer, and becomes the forward that propels the Rangers through the regular season and playoffs.
Patrick Comia- Adam Larsson, New Jersey Devils
It’s been four years since Adam Larsson was selected fourth overall in 2011 by the Devils. The team has been patiently waiting for the Swedish defenseman to come of age, and they are hoping it is this year. We could attribute his stalled progression to the “old” environment that reigned the halls of the Prudential Center. Add in the confusing three-headed monster coaching staff, and you get mixed results. However, the culture has changed, a new, young coach that is relatable, and improved pieces on the roster. It’s Larsson’s opportunity to take control on the back end and prove why the Devils signed him to a long-term extension this offseason.