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Updated: Oct 12, 2023

Tuesday night marks the start of the 2023–24 NHL season, but our focus goes beyond those games. This season has so much in store for fans, but we're focusing on the players that have the potential to light up the league and cheer on all NHL fans worldwide in addition to their club.

Ranging from quick wingers to powerful centers to rugged defenses. These five active players will probably help you have the finest season possible.

5. Noah Dobson (The New York Islanders)

Noah Dobson had a breakthrough season in 2021–22 after settling into the major league throughout his first two NHL seasons. The 6'4", 194-pound defenseman finished third among the New York Islanders, scoring with a career-best 13 goals and 51 points.

Dobson was selected as the 12th overall choice in the 2018 NHL draft. His excellent skating and puck-moving skills have given the Islanders much-needed offensive play from their blue line. With 21 points in 32 games, the 22-year-old is once again among the Isles' top scorers, averaging 20:36 of ice time per contest. He's expected to cross the 50-point mark once more. With his abilities, he might end up being the season's biggest star.

4. Robert Thomas (St. Louis Blues)

After the St. Louis Blues lost veteran stars Ryan O'Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko to Predators and Senators respectively, It should be easier for the St. Louis Blues to adjust with young forwards like Robert Thomas in the lineup.

The 23-year-old is a gifted playmaker who has the potential to emerge as one of their next key players.

Thomas, who was selected by the Blues with the 20th overall pick in the 2017 draft, spent his first two seasons getting used to life in the NHL. His thumb injury cut short his 2020–21 campaign.

The 6'0", 218-pound player's breakthrough effort came a season ago when he scored 77 points, good for second place among all Blues scorers. On July 13, the Blues gave Thomas an eight years contract extension worth $65 million. As one of the team top scorers. This season, keep an eye on the youngster.

3. Jordan Kyrou (St. Louis Blues)

With his lightning-fast speed and great offensive abilities, Jordan Kyrou is another star to keep an eye on in this NHL season. He was selected by the St. Louis Blues in the second round (35th overall) of the 2016 NHL draft, and he split his first two seasons between the Blues and their San Antonio AHL affiliate.

After finishing fourth among Blues scorers in his breakthrough season with 27 goals and 75 points in 74 appearances, 25-year-old winger Kyrou was awarded an eight-year, $65 million contract extension in September 2022.

Despite having a sluggish start to the season, Kyrou had a strong performance the last season. With the departure of Ryan O'Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko, Kyrou may wind up replacing them as the St. Louis Blues' new playmaker and leader.

2. Nick Suzuki (Montreal Canadiens)

Another player predicted to take the helm in the NHL is Nick Suzuki, captain of the Montreal Canadiens. Since coming to Montreal in September 2018, the 23-year-old center has played a significant role in the club's rebuilding process.

Suzuki scored 41 points in 56 games with the Canadiens in 2019–20, 41 points in 56 games in 2020–21, and 16 points during the Canadiens' 2021 Stanley Cup Final run.

The young Habs captain who was born in London, led the team to 26 goals and 66 points the last season. He is a member of what might be a bright future in Montreal.

The center player will be a crucial component of their long-term goals with a deal that expires in 2029–30. Additionally, it is anticipated that this season's top players will include him.

1. Cale Makar (Colorado Avalanche)

Top of our list of players to watch this season is the man on the cover of the NHL24 Video game, Colorado Avalanche’s king of defense, Cale Maker. Since his incredible NHL debut, the fourth overall pick of the 2017 NHL draft has not stopped proving himself as one of the best players in the league.

With 50 points in 57 games in the 2019–20 season, Makar won the Calder Memorial Trophy. In the 2020–21 season, he scored 44 points to earn the James Norris Memorial Trophy. Along with leading the Avalanche to the Stanley Cup, he also won the Conn Smythe Trophy.

As the 2023–24 season gets underway, 24-year-old Makar is expected to bring more of his A-game to the ice, sitting atop the NHL's best under-25 player list and receiving a rating of 95 in the most recent version of the NHL simulated game.


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