Without waiting any further, let’s crack the Top 10!
10. Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers
It’s difficult to imagine an NHL in the coming years in which Taylor Hall is not one of the league’s premier superstars. Honestly, the toughest part about writing this piece on Hall is the fact that he’s younger than me – talk about feeling insignificant. At age 21, Hall has been leaving experienced NHL defenders in the dust for three years now, and he shows no signs of ever slowing down.
Drafted by the Oilers in 2010, the first overall pick jumped onto the NHL scene immediately, scoring 22 goals and totaling 42 points in just 65 games of NHL action as a rookie. He followed that year with a splendid sophomore campaign, posting 27 goals and 26 assists in 62 games. This season, Hall saw his stat sheet fall to just 16 goals on the year, but he did post a career-high 34 assists en route to 50 points in 45 games. The Oilers are an extremely young team (top-9 point-getters for 2012-13 are under age 30), and Hall will be a crucial part of Edmonton’s success for years to come.
Major League Baseball went through a dark time clouded by steroid use in the mid 1990s until the early 2000s. Players came out of nowhere to have huge years and short bursts of ridiculous success, only to fade faster than they came onto the scene.
By now, most of these guys are just an afterthought. I’ll bring them back into your memory for a little, give them another 15 seconds of fame.
1. Shawn Green
A Rookie of the Year Candidate with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1995, Shawn Green came into the big leagues with a high upside. Through his first three full seasons in the league, Green topped out at 16 home runs and a .288 average. In 1998, Green exploded and seemingly out of nowhere hit 35 homeruns, drove in 100 runs and stole a whopping 35 bases.
Today, we’ll continue with #TheList’s Top 25 NHL Left Wingers, starting with #20. Missed this weekend’s post on #25-21? Catch up here. But now, let’s check out what players cracked #TheList’s Top 20, and what surprising team features features two of the next five:
20. David Perron, St. Louis Blues
A first round pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, David Perron has spent his entire six-year career with the team that drafted him, the St. Louis Blues. As a 19-year old rookie in 2007-08, Perron played in 62 games for the Blues, scoring 13 goals and adding 14 assists. In the following season, Perron scored 15 times en route to a career-high 50 point season.
Injuries have rattled Perron as of late, as he played in just 67 games combined in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, providing the Blues with 49 points. This season, Perron has managed to stay healthy, but hasn’t been able to find the net effectively, producing just 25 points in 45 games. Perron had arguably his best season last year, so look for him to pick it back up in a full season for 2013-14, and watch as the Blues ride – or die – along with the success of Perron.