John Tavares (Islanders) – There is no denying that Tavares has elite offensive abilities but it will likely be a couple seasons before we see just what he is really capable of. Don’t count on a Steven Stamkos kind of sophomore season from Tavares especially with Kyle Okposo and Mark Streit out long term with injuries. SOPHOMORE JINX: Tavares will suffer the sophomore jinx even though he should still see a small increase in points but even a 10-15 point increase is not what fans were hoping for and this season will be considered a disappointment.
Tyler Myers (Buffalo) – Myers scored 11 goals and 48 points last season that is more goals and points than he ever scored in juniors. Don’t expect Myers to increase his production as a sophomore, however Myers is the only offensive threat on the Sabres blueline so he won’t see a drop in scoring either. SOPHOMORE JINX: Myers will not suffered the sophomore jinx and you can count on status quo with Myers, as he will be a 50-point defenseman for most of his career.
(Sharks) – Demers scored 21 points last season in 51 games and 11 of those points came on the powerplay. Demers showed he has an offensive side as he put up 17 points in 25 AHL games last season. Demers will run the second powerplay unit and could see time on the top unit when Dan Boyle misses his annual 5 games. SOPHOMORE JINX: Demers will not suffered the sophomore jinx and makes a solid sleeper pick this year as he should eat up a lot of the extra ice time that was created with Rob Blake retirement.
Tuukka Rask (Bruins) – Rask stole the starting job from Tim Thomas last season posting 22 wins and 5 shutouts in 39 starts. Rask put up phenomenal numbers as a rookie with a 0.931 save percentage and a very low 1.97 goals against average. However the Bruins collapsed with Rask in net during the playoffs. SOPHOMORE JINX: After putting up such strong numbers as a rookie there is a strong possibility that Rask will go through the sophomore jinx, at least for the first half of the season. Thomas looked strong over in Europe while Rask struggled letting in several questionable goals. Even though Rask may struggle in the first half count on him finding his game for the second half and lead the Bruins to Conference finals in the playoffs.
Evander Kane (Thrashers) – Kane scored 14 goals and 26 points in 66 games last season on a terrible Thrashers team. The Thrashers added several new players this off-season but every player they added are second line or depth players, which won’t count into Kane’s ice time. SOPHOMORE JINX: Kane will not go through the sophomore jinx as he will play with more consistency this season and be expected to carry more of the offensive load resulting in a drastic rise in goal and point totals.
Jimmy Howard (Red Wings) – Howard came in last season as the savior of the Red Wings season and not only got them into playoffs but carried them to the second round. Howard recorded 37 wins and 3 shutouts in 61 starts. SOPHOMORE JINX: Howard will not suffer the sophomore jinx as he is much older than most sophomores and plays on a veteran filled team so count on another strong season as evident by Howard’s opening day shutout.