New stars are emerging in the NHL, particularly this season. Injuries have forced players that you would not expect, to ramp up their game and lead their respective teams. Prime examples of this are teams like The Tampa Bay Lightning and The Detroit Red Wings, with a numerous amount of injuries opening the door for new faces leading the way every night.
Players for the Lightning, such as Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn have all enjoyed terrific seasons and have helped steer the Tampa ship in the right direction, especially during Stamkos’ injury which kept him out for several months.
In Detroit a similar situation is transpiring with the massive amount of injuries the team has sustained, in particular to their superstar centers Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. The Wings have been forced, for the first time in a long period, to rely on their youth to get them back into the postseason and continue their marvellous run of consecutive playoff appearances. Names you have never heard of are starting to be household names in Detroit, such as Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan, Luke Glendening and Tomas Jurco who have wowed the Wings faithful with their blazing speed and willingness to get this team back into the postseason.
This article will look at players like those previously mentioned, who have flown under the radar all season long, yet massively contributed to their teams’ success. Enjoy this list breaking down this season’s most underrated NHL players!
10 Jason Pominville - Minnesota Wild
9 Jaden Schwartz - St. Louis Blues
8 Victor Hedman - Tampa Bay Lightning
7 Mats Zuccarello - New York Rangers
6 Valtteri Filppula - Tampa Bay Lightning
5 Wayne Simmonds - Philadelphia Flyers
4 Kyle Okposo - New York Islanders
3 Steve Mason - Philadelphia Flyers
2 Ryan Johansen - Columbus Blue Jackets
1 Gustav Nyquist - Detroit Red Wings
What a crazy season for Gustav Nyquist who, believe it or not, due to the Wings' cap constraints began the season in Detroit’s AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. Nyquist recorded 21 points in his first 15 games with his AHL team. This player was more than NHL ready and the Wings new this as well. The previous year Nyquist connected quite well with Grand Rapids linemate Joakim Andersson and almost played a crucial part in beating the cup champion Blackhawks in the second round before the Wings were eliminated in seven games. Finally, in the regular season injuries began to pile up and injured players were placed on the IR finally allowing the Wings to call up the young Swede. In only 46 games this season, what a difference Nyquist has made, especially with injuries to superstars Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Gustav has managed to pick up 45 points along with 23 goals in this short span, and is currently the hottest player in the league trying to lead to Red Wings into yet another postseason appearance. Nyquist currently leads the team with 27 goals despite having played only 50 games. He has become the go to player in Detroit leading them into this improbable late season playoff push. When the Wings finally become healthy look out, the future looks extremely bright for this team with this recent infusion of youth into their lineup.
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