Led by Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, the NHL is blessed with a plethora of young talent, age 25 and younger. Monday night in Tampa Bay, the Bruins are going to get a taste of the league's top scorer, Steven Stamkos, who couldn't even celebrate a hat trick in Philadelphia with a few Yuenglings, as he doesn't turn 21 until February.
Despite playing in just 20 games thus far, Stamkos leads the league in goals (19) and points (34). The Ontario native, who was drafted No. 1 overall in 2008, finished with 51 goals a year ago, which tied him with Crosby for the league lead.
Speaking of Crosby, the Penguins' 23-year-old captain has 33 points (19 assists) already this season and he's on pace for a career-high 55 goals. Crosby's teammate, Evgeni Malkin, has struggled to find the back of the net, as he has just seven tallies and 13 assists.
Down in the nation's capital, Ovechkin has cooled down lately, but the sniper has 10 goals and 16 assists for 26 points.
Reigning Stanley Cup winner, Patrick Kane, just turned 22 years old over the weekend. He leads the Blackhawks in assists (14) and is second on the squad in goals with eight.
Other impressive players, age 25 or younger, include defensemen Dion Phaneuf, Drew Doughty and Mike Green, as well as forwards David Krejci, Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Ryan Getzlaf, Chris Stewart and Nicklas Backstrom. Goalies are also getting younger it seems, as Michal Neuvirth, Jon Quick, Sergei Bobrovsky, Brian Elliot and Tuukka Rask are all under the quarter-century mark.