2. The rise of Tomas Hertl with the San Jose Sharks
The Czech-born star was arguably a top-10 player before suffering a season-ending ACL tear. He impressed many by scoring five goals at the All-Star game this year, including a game-winner against the Atlantic Division.
Tomas Hertl put up 36 points before the injury but likely would have put up 80+ points if he had played the full season. That number would have been a career-high for the 25-year old phenom.
Since the injury, he has been remotely rehabbing with a San Jose based clinic from his home in Europe. Fans should be happy to know that he is recovering much faster than expected and should be ready to go next training camp.
Moving into the upcoming year, Hertl is going to have an expanded role on the team as a first-liner.
Between Timo Meier and himself, the two are the faces of the youth movement in what is otherwise an aging core.