6 Breakout Candidates
While the NHL looks headed towards a work stoppage, it will be business as usual for the rest of the hockey world.
Here are six prospects we project primed for breakout seasons in 2012-2013.
Carl Sneep Age 24
Height: 6-4 Weight: 210 lbs
Position: Defense Shoots: R
2006 2nd round draft pick
2011-2012 Stats: 34 GP | 0 Goals - 9 Assists - 9 Points -+6 rating | 21 PIM
2012-2013 Team: Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
Breakout Candidate: Carl Sneep is entering a crucial season in his professional career and if he stays healthy, many inside the organization feel he is primed to¬†make that next step. Sneep, 24, made his NHL debut in December and had an assist in the Penguins 8-3 win against Buffalo. Sneep though¬†was lost for the season soon after, appearing in just 34 games for Wilkes Barre last season. Sneep has the size, skating and physical traits that teams covet in blueliners but he's never been a dominating defenseman at the AHL or college ranks. Don't be surprised if that changes this season in Wilkes Barre.
Scouting Report: Strong skating ability, moves the puck well.
- Good positioning, uses his size well
- Plays more physical than he is given credit for and clears the front of the net effectively
- Does well in 1-on-1 situations and uses his speed to his advantage which makes him difficult to beat outside
- Is a good puck distributor but the stats have never matched the talent.
Anton Zlobin¬Ä¬ď Age 19
Born: 2-22-1993, Moscow, Russia
Height¬†5-11 Weight:¬†189 lbs
Position:¬†RW | Shoots: R
2012 6th round pick
2011-2012 Stats: 66 GP - 40 G - 36 A - 76 Pts
2012-2013 Team: Val-d'Or, Foreurs
Breakout Candidate: Zlobin is the type of player that frustrates scouts which led to him dropping to the sixth round in the 2012 entry draft. Skill wise, there's no denying Zlobin could have been a third or fourth round pick but what has plagued him is his overall play¬†and most scrutinized is Zlobin's compete level on a game-by-game basis. Following the Canada - Russia series in August though, Zlobin is now a player being discussed in the scouts, evaluators circle.¬†One reason¬†was his ability to mesh well with top pick Nail Yapukov but the bigger reason was his compete level and attention to details defensively throughout the series. He finally looked like an all-around player and is a prime breakout player from an overall game aspect to make a big jump on the prospect board for when he likely joins the Penguins organization in 2013-2014.