In this series, we're rolling out our list of the top 25 NHL players under the age of 25 by revealing five names at a time. Today, we're beginning with Nos. 21-25.
Every season, the NHL seemingly continues to become more of a young man’s game. With so many teams instilling youth into their lineup, an influx of young players are making their way to the forefront of NHL stardom.
There are currently 12 players at or above the 25-point mark so far in the season. Six of those 12 sit below the age of 25, including the league's two top scorers.
Some considerations upon the creation of this list include, but are not limited to, actual age, scoring statistics, a player’s importance to his respective team, his trending play and NHL experience.
This list is compiled of players under the age of 25 as of December 1, 2016.
21. Seth Jones
Columbus Blue Jackets
Career stats: 258 GP, 20 G, 71 A, 91 Pts., minus-32
2016-17 stats: 18 GP, 3 G, 5 A, 8 Pts., plus-2
The former fourth-overall pick from 2013, Jones was traded straight-up for Johansen during the 2015-16 season. Even with newcomer Zach Werenski yielding Calder talk, Jones remains the team’s best defenseman. He and Werenski will highlight the up-and-coming explosiveness of the Blue Jackets’ blue line for the foreseeable future.
22. Dylan Larkin
Detroit Red Wings
Career stats: 107 GP, 31 G, 24 A, 55 Pts., plus-6
2016-17 stats: 27 GP, 8 G, 2 A, 10 Pts., minus-5
Dylan Larkin is the present and future of the Detroit Red Wings. A sophomore slump held Larkin back this season, but he has started to find some puck luck again with four points in his past seven games. His incredible speed and high hockey IQ will help him break through soon.
23. Matt Murray
Career stats: 23 GS, 17 W, 2.01 GAA, .930 SV%, 2 SO
2016-17 stats: 9 GS, 8 W, 2.01 GAA, .931 SV%, 1 SO
At just 22 years old, Matt Murray already has a Stanley Cup to his name after leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to the 2016 league title. Still considered a rookie by NHL standards, he could be in the running for the Calder Trophy if he can sustain his .930 SV% and impressive winning percentage.
24. Rasmus Ristolainen
Career stats: 220 GP, 20 G, 61 A, 81 Pts., minus-73
2016-17 stats: 26 GP, 1 G, 15 A, 16 Pts., minus-5
Rasmus Ristolainen broke out for 41 points last season and scored his way to becoming the No. 1 defenseman for an up-and-coming Buffalo Sabres team. Ristolainen was one of just six defensemen to record 40-plus points, 20-plus powerplay points, average more than 25 minutes per game and record over 100 hits and 100 blocks last season.
25. Tyler Toffoli
Los Angeles Kings
Career stats: 255 GP, 73 G, 82 A, 155 Pts., plus-94
2016-17 stats: 25 GP, 5 G, 9 A, 14 Pts., plus-10
Tyler Toffoli may come after Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick and perhaps even Jeff Carter when talking about the Kings, but his youth means he is the long-run future of the team. He broke the 30-goal plateau last season, and gave the NHL a glimpse of his offense and two-way play by leading the NHL with a plus-35 rating.
Honorable MentionsThough this list was compiled from an original list of more than 70 names, honorable mentions go to Toronto’s Morgan Reilly, St. Louis’ Jaden Schwartz, Boston’s David Pastrnak and Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog.
Check in with FloHockey soon to see Nos. 15-20 of the NHL's top 25 under 25!