Ryan Miller (left) and Roberto Luongo

Ryan Miller (left) and Roberto Luongo

10 players to watch this season in the NHL

NHL PREVIEW: Subban and Luongo among players to watch in the 2014-15 NHL season

By Stephen Whyno, The Canadian Press

The 2014-15 NHL season opens Oct. 8. Here are 10 players fans should keep an eye on:

P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens

Subban starts a US$72-million, eight-year contract hoping nothing changes in the way teammates and coach Michel Therrien looks at him. But that price tag comes with lofty expectations, whether or not the 2013 Norris Trophy-winning defenceman is a captain or an alternate for the Habs.

Ryan Miller, Vancouver Canucks

If the Canucks are going to make last season a blip instead of the beginning of a downward spiral, Miller will be at the centre of the revival. After struggling with the St. Louis Blues, Miller should be back in his element facing more shots behind a weaker Vancouver roster.

Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche waved goodbye to Paul Stastny, who went to St. Louis, knowing full well they could replace him with the Calder Trophy-winning MacKinnon. Matt Duchene doesn’t hurt either, but MacKinnon is the one who could raise his game the most.

Brandon Saad, Chicago Blackhawks

Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith are why the Blackhawks’ core is so strong, but Saad is just 21 and has already flashed offensive potential. After 47 points in 2013-14, Saad could be poised for a breakout season on one of the NHL’s best teams.

John Tavares, New York Islanders

Back from a knee injury suffered during Canada’s gold-medal run at the Olympics, Tavares is the Islanders’ best hope of rebounding from a disappointing season. Tavares begs watching because he won’t have Matt Moulson or Thomas Vanek on his wing.

Gustav Nyquist, Detroit Red Wings

Nyquist was the hottest scorer in the NHL after the Olympic break with 23 points in 24 games, and in the process he helped the Red Wings to their 23rd straight playoff appearance. Is he Detroit’s next great Swede or was that one untouchable stretch?

Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars

Fourth in the league in scoring with 84 points on 37 goals and 47 assists, Seguin broke out last season back at his natural centre position and with Jamie Benn on left wing. Seguin is just starting to show what he can do in the NHL.

Roberto Luongo, Florida Panthers

His trade demand met at the deadline and settled in where he calls home, Luongo can go back to reminding everyone that he’s still a top-10 NHL goaltender. The 35-year-old will give the young Panthers a chance to be much better than bottom-feeders.

Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning

Hedman had more points (55) last season than in his previous 105 games combined, showing that the 23-year-old’s offensive game is coming together. Only three of his 13 goals were on the power play, and an improvement there would be a boon for the Lightning.

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

Despite a wrist injury, Crosby had one of the most productive seasons of his NHL career. After missing time in training camp, how well Crosby recovers will determine rookie coach Mike Johnston’s success.

Follow @SWhyno on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Zahra Rayani-Kanji of Heart Pharmacy, Sidney Pharmacy manager James McCullough, and Naz Rayani, owner and founder of Heart Pharmacy, join sisters Becky Brigham and Judy Costanzo outside the business. Sidney Pharmacy has become the sixth Heart Pharmacy outlet in Greater Victoria after its purchase from Brigham and Costanzo. Their parents, Frances and Jim Brigham, first opened the business in 1959. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney Pharmacy changes ownership, but retains family tradition

First opened by Frances and Jim Brigham in 1959, Sidney Pharmacy is now part of Heart Pharmacy

Ronald Schinners, owner of The Cabbie in the #YYJ, opened his taxi service in the West Shore last month. (Dawn Gibson/News Staff)
‘One man show,’ The Cabbie in the #YYJ cultivates 45,000 followers on Instagram

New taxi company brings unusual spunk to the West Shore

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has in the past warned of Öffnungsdiskusionorgien (translated as an orgy of discussions about openings), one of one of the 1,200 words added to the German lexicon as reported by the Leibniz Institute for the German Language. (Michael Kappeler/Pool via AP)
German lexicon grows by 1,200 words, many inspired by COVID-19 pandemic

Öffnungsdiskusionorgie (orgy of discussions about openings) among new entries

A decade into the 100-year blueprint for restoring the Bowker Creek watershed, Soren Henrich, director of the Friends of Bowker Creek Society, feels positive about the future of conservation and daylighting of the creek. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Ten years in, Greater Victoria’s 100-year Bowker Creek blueprint gets a boost

Victoria council passes several restoration recommendations

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ on Sooke Road

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Most Read