Top 20 NHL Players Who'll Keep Their Hot Streaks Going This Season

With a brand new National Hockey League season around the corner, it's time to take a final look back at last season before we wipe it from our memories completely.

The Los Angeles Kings proved their worth as a legitimate threat to be the first dynasty of the "New NHL" era, and will be looking to repeat this year while capturing their third Stanley Cup in four years.

Teams will be placing a big target on the backs of the Kings - Chicago, St. Louis, Anaheim and San Jose are all Western powerhouses looking to knock the Kings off their perch as rulers of the West, while Boston, Pittsburgh, New York and Montreal will battle it out for the right to reclaim the Eastern Conference's former glory as the superior conference.

While the teams as a whole present interesting story lines in their own right, what about the players who ruled the headlines throughout the regular season? Some were in the headlines for the wrong reasons - be it injuries, off-ice issues, or the like - while others flourished and grabbed national attention through impressive on-ice performance and substantial improvements in the developments as professional hockey players.

The players featured on this list wowed us with incredible finishes to last season - goal scorers who got in the zone, play-makers who we're setting up their teammates at will, and goaltenders who could not be beaten by even the best of scoring chances. The challenge for those players then becomes: can they carry that momentum into next season? For the fans, teammates, coaches and management of these players, the hope remains that these players can not only replicate the way they finished last season, but also improve upon the impressive numbers they put up during crunch time of the regular season.

These players could make or break the fate of their teams' playoff chances in 2014-2015, so they will no doubt be worth following all season long.

20 Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

19 Thomas Vanek, Minnesota Wild

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

18 Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

17 Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

16 Patric Hornqvist, Pittsburgh Penguins

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

15 Jason Spezza, Dallas Stars

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

14 Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

If you're Canadian, you'll get the reference:


13 Mike Cammalleri, New Jersey Devils

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

12 Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

11 Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

10 Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

9 Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lighting

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

8 Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

7 Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

6 Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

5 Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

4 Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

3 Gustav Nyquist, Detroit Red Wings

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

2 Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

1 Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Claude Giroux had a strange year to say the least. His numbers were atrocious through the first month of the season: he only had 6 assists in 11 games in October. The firing of Peter Laviolette and the subsequent hiring of Craig Berube seemed to have ignited Giroux, who ended up finishing 3rd in points with 86. While he was on fire for most of the season, Giroux was unstoppable in the final 23 games of the year, where he netted 9 goals and added 20 assists for a total of 29 points, the most of any player in the league over that span. Giroux will be looking to get hot from the start of the season this time around, and is a good bet to do just that.

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Top 20 NHL Players Who'll Keep Their Hot Streaks Going This Season