NHL Power Rankings: Is Steven Stamkos Really The Next One?

February 7th, 2011 by April Weiner Leave a reply »
Happy birthday Steven Stamkos! Today he turns 21. The quiet Canadian from Ontario will likely have a low-key celebration tonight. He's never been flashy.

Maybe that's why Steven Stamkos has often gotten lost in the shuffle. He came into the NHL in 2008, to a league already dominated by top superstars Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. After Crosby and Ovechkin, there were many other stars next in line for the spotlight.

Stamkos also entered the league into a dismal Tampa Bay Lightning team, at the height of their dark days. If anyone on the Lightning received attention, it would have been captain Vincent Lecavalier or Marty St. Louis.

But Stamkos worked tirelessly, seemingly out of the public eye. Perhaps that's what helped him prosper, outside of intense media scrutiny. Last season, in just his second year in the league, Stamkos tied Crosby with 51 goals to win the Rocket Richard Trophy for leading the league in goals.

Crosby has been touted as "The Next One" ever since "The Great One" himself anointed Crosby "The Next One" when Crosby was just 14. One can't help but think that maybe that honor should be bestowed upon Stamkos ...

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