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A change of coach seems to have worked for a number of teams
  1. NHL

NHL: Potential breakthrough stars for 2022/23

With each season that comes, the NHL always has several breakout stars to look out for.

Whether it be 21-year-old Trevor Zegras scoring a lacrosse-style goal in a breakout 23 goal season for the Anaheim Ducks, or rookie of the year Moritz Seider, also 21, crunching bodies while putting up 50 points in his debut season for the Detroit Red Wings.

With the 2022/23 season just around the corner, we take a look at who it might be in the new season.

Quinn to Power Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres have gone 11 consecutive seasons without making the Stanley Cup playoffs which is the longest drought in NHL history.

Despite all the losing, it's meant that the Sabres have been able to repeatedly pick high in the NHL draft and with those players now entering and blossoming in the league, the future looks very bright.

One of those prospects is defenceman Owen Power who the Sabres selected with the first pick in 2021. At just 19, the Canadian stands at a whopping 6'6" but also has an outstanding skating ability.

Power, 100/1 for the James Norris Memorial Trophy, got his first taste of NHL action last season and looked instantly ready, bagging three points (two goals, one assist).

He will be joined in the exuberant Sabres line-up by 20-year-old forward Jack Quinn who was selected with the eighth pick in the 2020 first round.

Quinn, a product of the OHL's Ottawa 67's enjoyed an extremely productive season with Buffalo's farm-team, the Rochester Americans in the AHL, putting up 61 points (26 goals, 35 assists) in 45 games.

In January, he was brought up to the Sabres and played two games scoring a goal and assist against the Dallas Stars, looking a threat each time that he was on the ice.

The pair will be given every opportunity to prove themselves as productive NHL players in 2022/23 as the Sabres aim to take the next step in their quick-moving progression.

McTavish ready to quack 

Similar to the Sabres, the Anaheim Ducks have had to go through a long re-build of which they are now coming through the other side of.

Ninth overall pick in 2019, Zegras wowed the hockey world last season with his sensational lacrosse-style goal, showing an incredible amount of skill and confidence to pull off the trick. Sixth overall pick in 2020, Jamie Drysdale shone bright, scoring 32 points (four goals, 28 assists) from the blue-line and now it's the turn of third overall pick in 2021 Mason McTavish to make his mark in 2022/23.

The 19-year-old is currently starring for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships, becoming just the seventh player in history to score four goals in a single U20 tournament game.

The centreman scored three points (two goals, one assist) in his first nine NHL games last season, and on top of his offensive ability, his physicality and confidence on the penalty-killing stood out.

Certain to be given responsibility with the Ducks, McTavish will aim to show himself as one of the most well-rounded youngsters in the game in 2022/23.

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Heiskanen has opportunity to Star

Miro Heiskanen has already proved a very good NHL defenceman for the Dallas Stars. However, given the situation he and the team find themselves, he'll have chance to prove that he should be considered as one of the best offensive minded blue-liners in the NHL over 2022/23.

The 23-year-old scored 36 points last season (five goals, 31 assists) in 70 games which was a career best from four years in the NHL.

With John Klingberg leaving for the Ducks, Heiskanen, 22/1 for the James Norris Memorial Trophy, will be relied upon more next season and will run the Stars' powerplay.

Klingberg had 47 points (six goals, 41 assists) last season with 20 of them coming on the man advantage. Heiskanen will be expected to match or even exceed those numbers, and assuming he does, he may well find himself in the conversation for the Norris Trophy Award.

Let's get Kraken

The NHL's newest franchise, Seattle Kraken, have signed centreman Shane Wright to an entry-level contract and after he fell from the projected first overall pick spot to fourth in the recent draft, he'll be motivated to show what the three teams who passed on him have missed out on.

Also, hotly tipped to burst onto the NHL scene is the Kraken's second overall pick in 2021, Matty Beniers. A year older than Wright, the 6'2" University of Michigan graduate scored nine points (three goals, six assists) during his ten game NHL introduction last season.

If he can replicate that production over a full 82 game season, he's sure to be in the mix for rookie of the year and help the Kraken better establish themselves as competitors in the NHL.

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