Commentary

This year's Steven Stamkos will be ...

Puck Prospectus projects the top 10 breakout candidates

Updated: October 1, 2010, 9:12 AM ET
By Robert Vollman | Puck Prospectus
Evander Kane/Sam GagnerUS PresswirePuck Prospectus believes Evander Kane and Sam Gagner could be ready for a big year.

While most players have a career arc that improves gradually to an established level of production, breakout players suddenly jump up more dramatically, to a level beyond anything they've ever done before. Even a single breakout season can help a team into the postseason, but when a certain chemistry is achieved and they happen in bunches the results can be dramatic, like the Boston Bruins in 2008-09, or the Vancouver Canucks last season.

Who will be the breakout stars of 2010-11? By searching a historical database for players of similar ages and normalized statistics, and using the insights revealed by the VUKOTA projection system, we've identified 10 players with breakout potential.