May 21, 2024

Young NHL stars who are leveling up in Stanley Cup playoffs

The untrained and fresh-faced are not allowed to compete in the Stanley Cup finals, according to the common sense. Because a team you frequently go straight toward elimination if one unintentional error is made, coaches frequently lean on players they can trust in difficult situations, which frequently correlates with having seen it all before and having the ability to handle the pressure.

When the postseason lights start to shine, it may be hard for younger people to get a bigger role. It’s definitely not a coincidence that none of the remaining groups in this year’s stacked playoff field placed among the top 10 in the country by ordinary time during the 2023- to 2024 regular period, while four of the 11 oldest teams are still advancing toward the Cup. Despite this, some children are still using these playoffs as a foundation for better things and producing beyond their years.

We looked for players under the age of 25 this season ( as of Jan. 31 ) who have never had a regular season with 15 or more goals above replacement ( GAR ) in their careers to identify the young players who are stepping up big in the games that matter the most. Why 15? Typically speaking, it’s the symbol of a great time. Andrei Svechnikov, a 24 year old player, and Thomas Harley, a Dallas Stars player, both have U seasons, making them available despite being younger players with significant responsibilities for their particular playoff teams.

Instead, we’ll focus on nine players ( listed youngest to oldest ) who have n’t quite achieved that level of regular- season success yet, but are playing important roles for Cup- chasing teams.

Age: 20 ( May 14, 2003 )
Best regular season: 14.5 GAR (2023-24)
Playoff stats: 10 GP | 5 G | 3 A | 8 P | +0 | 20:05 TOI/G