Breakout seasons are the most fun a player can have and it creates so much excitement for their teammates.

For the fans, it gives them hope for the future knowing they might be watching the next superstar in the league.

Fewer things are more exciting in the NHL than seeing a young player hitting their stride and becoming a player you have to make time to watch. The future can bring about anything and that player realizing their potential–or maybe playing out of their mind for a full year–it's glorious.

The other fun part of breakout seasons is trying to figure out which player(s) will be the next ones to shine. Fortunately, that's what we're here to do.

Looking out around the league, a breakout star generally is a young player that's had a taste of the NHL and showed something in those shining moments that there's more to come. Not everyone can be Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, or Alex Ovechkin and blow up on the scene immediately. For breakout players, the fuse gets lit early on and the explosion of goals and assists that comes later on can be fit for the 4th of July.

We picked out nine players to keep your eyes on when October comes. Come join us and be the ultimate hockey hipster and say you were there before they became huge stars.


Luke Hughes – New Jersey Devils

We got a brief glimpse of what the Devils will get to enjoy from Luke Hughes last season and the mix of his abilities with New Jersey's high-octane attack will create a lot of headaches for opposing teams for years to come.

Once Hughes arrived from the University of Michigan, he jumped into the lineup and put up a goal and an assist in his first two NHL games. Come playoff time, he found his way into three games and had two assists. Not bad for a 19-year-old who just got done with his finals.

What will allow him to make a massive impact next season? Aside from his gifted ability to skate with the puck and create offense either with a pass or a shot, the Devils moved on from Damon Severson, trading him to Columbus and opening a spot in New Jersey's top four on defense. Hughes should slide into that position seamlessly and get plenty of time on the power play as well.

More minutes, more opportunities and more puck touches create the perfect recipe for a breakout. The Devils were one of the league's best teams last season as it was and an offensive player like Hughes at the blue line gives them an entirely new means of scoring goals.