Being a teenager is not easy for anyone. As we get older we discover that even the kids who seemed to have the world at their feet, still had to cope with the same insecurities that the rest of us experienced as we struggled with maturing through life.
There are a select few hockey playing teenagers that had to go finish that last leg of adolescence and navigate into adulthood while trying to survive in the most difficult hockey league in the world, among the most skilled and physical players in the world. The prospect of completing the last of your high school requirements in between practice and a game or having an assistant coach tell you that your mother called and wants to speak to you is a rare experience indeed.
For the players on this list they had to go from playing against fellow teenagers in the spring and then playing against men in the fall. The bigger arena's, more media attention, living out your dream all seem glamorous, but you still have to learn to cook, do your own laundry and generally look after yourself like any other teenager who has left home for the first time. It is an incredible juxtaposition and as fans we look at these young hockey players and wonder if they can handle it all.
The difficulties of the situation are easily identifiable, but even with the odds stacked against them and failure seen as logical and almost unavoidable, some teenage hockey players manage to survive in the NHL. Fewer from that list are the very special type of young hockey player who enters the NHL and thrives.
Probably the most amazing thing about seeing greatness at such an early age is the undeniable urge to imagine how much better they can become.
This year, the hockey world is awaiting in anticpation for yet another teenage phenom to take the league by storm in Connor McDavid, so what better time than to look back on some other youngsters who came into the league with enormous expectations and dominated as teenagers?
Here is a list of the top 10 teenage phenoms in NHL history.
10 Tom Barrasso
9 Jimmy Carson
8 Steven Stamkos
7 Steve Yzerman
6 John Tavares
5 Patrick Kane
4 Sidney Crosby
3 Mario Lemieux
2 Eric Lindros
1 Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky was the first known pre-teen phenom in hockey. It is recorded that in one season as a young hockey player, Gretzky somehow managed to score 378 goals. He was grabbing headlines, creating statistical feats no one had even imagined possible and doing it against competition two, three or even four years older than he was. He was the Beethoven of hockey, born to play and when he got to the NHL, he scored 301 total points in his teen years. It was just the start of what was to become Gretzky re-writing the record books.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!