Most likely to Succeed is our newest series which points out one player from every team and explains why that player is poised to increase their point totals. While some teams may have more than one player likely to breakout and some none, we will focus on the ones who actually should improve with a full healthy season. File this article under a sleeper-type but sleepers would not be called that if people saw them coming.
Right now John Tavares will likely be picked in either the 5th or 6th round of any standard Yahoo! draft. His O-Rank puts him at 40th overall. Where should he wind up? Probably somewhere even higher than that.
While this projection might be putting added pressure on Tavares, his high-end ceiling seems about even with Steven Stamkos. When Stamkos was drafted first overall the debate between the two players started with the Tampa Bay budding star firmly in the lead. Looking at last season, Tavares actually outscored Stamkos’ rookie year, which is no easy task as an 18-year-old. An increase to 40 goals would be a lofty expectation but not entirely out of the question.
Last season Stamkos had a top 5 season, something he was not expected to do with an O-Rank around 100. This season the draft gods have decided they might be smart to put Tavares on their radar. He could evolve very soon into a truly elite center, at times last year we saw him do just that.